West with Giraffes

West with Giraffes


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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.

Title:West with Giraffes
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    West with Giraffes Reviews

  • jessica

    a really sweet coming-of-age story that combines american history, animal friends, and a cross-country roadtrip. quite the fun adventure!whist reading this, i could tell that it was well-researched. i...

  • Catherine De

    A delightful read, I couldn't put it down. Told through the memory of an aged veteran, the story is set against the background of the Dust Bowl, the Depression and the advent of a World War. This impr...

  • Alice R. Gorski

    My great escape This story offered a delightful escape from today's stresses. I devoured it in two days. One of those books you don't want to put down yet hate to see end. A wild rollicking ride with ...

  • Heidi

    From the beginning, this remembrance of a few short weeks of one man’s life captured both my attention and my heart. (At over 100 years old, our elderly narrator is compelled to tell his story befor...

  • Faith

    Quite an adventure, indeed! I love historical fiction, especially when it's able to really take me back in time like West with Giraffes did. This is the first book review I've written since High Schoo...

  • L.G. Cullens

    This book has a special place in my heart.Take time for some exceptional comfort reading to lighten life's burden. Beyond the commercial hype of too many lackluster, frivolous book offerings, this is ...

  • Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore

    My thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for a review e-copy of this one.West with Giraffes is an endearing, and also heart-rending piece of historical fiction. The story is set around a truly...

  • Nora Wolfenbarger

    I loved this book from the first page to the very last. It's hard to imagine a time when most of the population had never seen a giraffe. It's harder to imagine hauling two of them across the United S...

  • Taury

    Good book! Not a favorite. Good story line well written. Funny in many parts. I can see this made into a movie one day. ...

  • Blaine DeSantis

    The first book I have read by this author and I really enjoyed the topic, the setting and the giraffes!!This is a novel that is set amongst the true story of two giraffes who are being transported fro...