Lynne Kelly
age group: 
9+ yrs
Number of pages: 
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
nature and wildlife elephants
realisitic fiction


“Chained” by Lynne Kelly is a book that makes us care deeply for both its protagonists. Hastin, is a ten-year-old boy who takes up a job far from home with a cruel circus owner to help his family. Nandita, the elephant is trapped and mistreated to teach her tricks. The bond between the boy and the elephant, both far from their families and a victim of their circumstances will tug at your heart.

It is a story of bravery, courage, goodness, friendship, cruelty, and greed. This book takes the reader on an emotional journey. It reminds us that cruelty to animals is an unfortunate part of our world and needs our attention and concern.

Lynne Kelly’s book is set in India and her research and attention to detail makes the setting and the story authentic. It is a page turner and you yearn for a satisfying end, which the author delivers.

“Chained” is not a book that you can forget. It is a new classic.

To see a 'lesson plan' based on the book click here:

Reviewed by Varsha Bajaj