A teenage boy with a half-constructed elephant in the garage discovers his father will sacrifice anything for appearance's sake.
Sean gives an overview of the book:
Two days after my seventeenth birthday I found Dad in the living room talking to himself as he stared out the front window. Next door, the Hendersons and their daughter Jenny stood on their front yard. An eighteen wheeler was parked on the street. Lumbering out of the back was something nearly as big as the truck.
Dad said, "My God. I think Henderson bought an elephant." When upset, Dad referred to Mr. Henderson by last-name-only. Henderson dented the fender on my car. Henderson still hasn't returned our goddam hedge-trimmer. "Godammit he has. He bought a damn elephant."