Growing up, i've always loved animals. I was the one to always cry during a movie that contained the death of an animal, and I even once bawled my eyes out during a mission trip in Mexico last spring because the people there had killed a pig for us to eat. So when Mrs. Maguire introduced our english class to this novel, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Modoc is about a story of how a gentle elephant and her life companion struggled and traveled to stay together, and it is perfect not only for animal lovers, but for everyone.
Bram Gunterstein and Modoc was born in the year of 1896. Not only were they born in the same year, they were born within the same hour. Bram’s father was a elephant circus trainer for a small German circus, and believed that Modoc and Bram were destined to be companions from the day they were born. Starting at a very young age, Mo and Bram began to play together, and eventually grew very close. Later on, Bram followed his father’s footsteps and became an elephant trainer. Modoc’s elephant trainer actually. He was the only one that was able to fully control and understand Modoc, and it seemed like they had a deep connection. They were able to understand each other with one glance, and she always seemed to know how he felt. Deeply believing in training animals with love, not violence, Bram’s gentle approach was influenced on Modoc, and Mo grew up to be a gentle but powerful female elephant, performing in jaw dropping routines with Bram. Although tame, Modoc was a 7 ft elephant, weighing over a ton. She attacked if she had to, but only to protect Bram. The love Bram and Modoc held for each other truly showed how incredible things can turn out to be. Though the two had been inseparable, a day rolled around when the circus Bram’s father worked in had to be sold and the animals had to part from their lifelong trainers. However, Bram and Modoc’s story didn’t just end there. Through exciting beginnings, near death experiences, new relationships, and heartbreak, Modoc and Bram had continuously stayed with each other. When separated, Bram would devote his life searching for Modoc. This book truly captures the love humans and animals are able to contain.
Why I would recommend this book
Modoc, rated 4.2 on Goodreads, is a book that is able to make you cry, laugh, and feel furious all in a few pages. You never really knew what you were going to get in the next chapter, and that made you keep reading. This book contains romance, friendship, loyalty, and betrayal. The author’s style of playing with the reader’s emotions truly makes you not want to put it down.
This book is listed under the ‘Biography’ section, and to be honest, i was quite surprised to hear that. It did not contain the stereotypical biographical format, listing the person’s achievements and inspirations. Maybe it was because Modoc is about a elephant, but this book seemed more like a novel than a biography. I was not a huge fan of nonfiction, but based on a true story, Modoc truly caused me to be more interested in the genre. I am now more open to reading nonfiction, and Modoc really opened my eyes and help me see how fascinating it could be. So for those of you that are interested in opening up to nonfiction, Modoc is a perfect introduction to it.
Grace Choi is a junior at Novi High School. She enjoys reading, swimming, and watching movies. She plans on attending nursing school in the future.