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Alethea Allarey

chained (1).jpg

Official Links


Written by Lynne Kelly

Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2012


After ten-year-old Hastin’s family borrows money to pay for his sister’s hospital bill, he leaves his village in northern India to take a job as an elephant keeper and work off the debt. He thinks it will be an adventure, but he isn’t prepared for the cruel circus owner. The crowds that come to the circus see a lively animal that plays soccer and balances on milk bottles, but Hastin sees Nandita, a sweet elephant and his best friend, who is chained when she’s not performing and hurt with a hook until she learns tricks perfectly. Hastin protects Nandita as best as he can, knowing that the only way they will both survive is if he can find a way for them to escape.

Meet the Author

Lynne Kelly grew up in Houston, lived in a couple of much colder places, then returned to the Houston area, where she works as a sign language interpreter and writes novels for children and young adults. Chained is her first novel.


  • Have you ever had a pet that you would do anything for, in order to protect it from harm? How far would you go?
  • It is said that “elephants never forget”. What do you think this means? What do you know, or what have you heard about elephants?
  • Have you ever seen elephants or other animals perform in a circus or other venue? Do you think the animals enjoy performing? Why or why not?

For more information, please check the 2014-2015 Resource Guide - Middle School/Junior High.