Monday, March 9, 2009


Pages: 331
Date: 09/03/2009
Grade: 5

Jacob Jankowski is only a few days away from qualifying as a vet when his parents die in a car crash. The time is the 1930's and America is in the middle of the great depression. Jacob soon discovered that his parents haven't just left him an orphan, but also without any money or a home to return to. Unable to sit his final exam he walks away and finds himself ending up on a circus train, and being taken on as the circus vet.
Jacob discovers he's joined a community unlike anything he knows, with rules and customs very different from those in the rest of the world. He meets Marlene, a young and beautiful performer with whom he falls in love, and her disturbed and violent husband, August. He also meets and falls for Rosie, an elephant nobody can work with until Jacob discovers her secret.
In a dangerous and violent time, Jacob, Marlene and Rosie seem destined for hurt and heartbreak, unless a miracle occurs.
This story is told through flashbacks. Jacob, now a 90 (or 93) year old is living in a care home where he's waiting for one of his family to come and visit him and take him to a visiting circus. But the future looks as bleak for the old Jacob as it once did for the young one. Both of them are in need of a miracle.
This was a wonderful book. It took me into a world I knew nothing about, during a time I knew very little about and charmed me with it's message that love and decency will shine through despite the odds, and that it's never too late for dreams to come true.

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