Karl and his friends play out in the snow at the nursing home where his mother works. After all of his friends go home, his mother is looking for him. She finds him in the room of Lizzie, a cantankerous old woman, who is telling Karl a story about her life. Karl is fascinated by the story that Lizzie regales about how an elephant saved her family's life after the 1945 bombing in Dresden, Germany, during World War 2. It seems a little far fetched that they actually traveled with an elephant, but this is actually based on a true story. I really loved the way that the author used different fonts to show when it was present day and when it was the past.
This was not a fast moving story, but it was very interesting to think about how average German citizens might have felt when the Allied forces invaded. No matter what the story--it is important to understand the sides and that there is a human element that needs to be considered. A good read.