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By Simon Reade,Michael Morpurgo

1945. Dresden, Germany. Lizzie, her mom – and an elephant from the zoo, flee the Allied fire-bombing within the end-game of the second one international War.

Escaping the Allies’ improve from the West – and in addition the advancing Russian armies from the East – this notable trio of refugees meet: a downed RAF officer, cowering in a barn; a homeless college choir at the run and their Countess saviour, harbouring them from the Nazis; and the mechanised American cavalry, showing over the horizon.

It is Lizzie’s tale – yet Marlene, the elephant, is the
heroine. Plodding, stubborn, opportunistic, load-bearing, indestructible, cheering – Marlene embodies the stubbornness of the human will and the way it's going to do every little thing to survive.

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