Follow the Elephant. Following the death of his dad, Ben is angry and isn't overly thrilled when it is announced that his grandmother is taking him to India with her in search of her long lost pen pal. Having been to India it was interesting for me to read this book and to revisit places I had been and to visit places that I hadn't. I think it's a good read for kids but strangely no one has yet picked it up in my classroom and I am not sure why. One of my boys is thoroughly enjoying an earlier book, Wishing Star Summer, about a girl coming to stay in Vancouver from Chernobyl. I have to share with him an article in the paper about one of the Paralympic sledge hockey players who is physically handicapped as a result of the nuclear explosion there.
Many of my students have parents from India and have visited India so maybe Follow the Elephant doesn't seem exotic enough for them? I am sure once she visits interest will grow.