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West with Giraffes

West with Giraffes

Melanie says: In 1938, two giraffes bound for the San Diego zoo survived a hurricane at sea and a cross-country trip by truck. Based on true events, this adventurous historical novel is the story of 17 year old Woody, the giraffes known as "Boy" and "Girl", the "Old Man" and a host of other characters met on their travels. I would imagine that these strange creatures, with their long necks poking out of the top of wooden crates on the back of a truck, must have been quite a sight to see!

An emotional, rousing novel inspired by the incredible true story of two giraffes who made headlines and won the hearts of Depression-era America.

"Few true friends have I known and two were giraffes..."

Woodrow Wilson Nickel, age 105, feels his life ebbing away. But when he learns giraffes are going extinct, he finds himself recalling the unforgettable experience he cannot take to his grave.

It's 1938. The Great Depression lingers. Hitler is threatening Europe, and world-weary Americans long for wonder. They find it in two giraffes who miraculously survive a hurricane while crossing the Atlantic. What follows is a twelve-day road trip in a custom truck to deliver Southern California's first giraffes to the San Diego Zoo. Behind the wheel is the young Dust Bowl rowdy Woodrow. Inspired by true events, the tale weaves real-life figures with fictional ones, including the world's first female zoo director, a crusty old man with a past, a young female photographer with a secret, and assorted reprobates as spotty as the giraffes.

Part adventure, part historical saga, and part coming-of-age love story, West with Giraffes explores what it means to be changed by the grace of animals, the kindness of strangers, the passing of time, and a story told before it's too late.

Publication Date: 
February 1, 2021