Posted by: michelle @ books my kids read | July 30, 2009

water for elephants

Water for Elephants Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
LOVED this book. I can’t believe it took me so long to pick up this book and finally read it. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly suggest running out and getting a copy.

Sara Gruen tells the story of Jacob Jankowski and his life in the circus with a moving prose that makes it nearly impossible to put it down. In her colorful cast of characters you not only have Jacob, the suddenly orphaned young man who was on a final exam away from officially being a vet, but Marlena, the beautiful star of the equestrian team and her slightly insane husband August who is the equestrian director and will become Jacob’s boss. Rounding out the cast of characters is: Kinko, a dwarf performer who is less than thrilled about having to bunk with Jacob; Camel, an old worker who is an alcoholic in the middle of prohibition; Uncle Al, the show’s ringmaster and leader who got to where he was by stealing and backstabbing and has no qualms about having people redlighted (aka thrown off the train in the middle of the night); and Rosie, the elephant that didn’t seem to know how to do anything but eat huge amounts of food until Jacob discovered the secret to her success.

All of these characters truly came to life and Jacob Jankowski remembered his days in Uncle Al’s circus and a tragedy that happened there 70 years after the fact. There is a love story and a history lesson of the circus in the years of the depression. A book not to be missed!

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