Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
2007 ALA/Alex award
Jacob Jankowski is 90 or 93. He's not sure which. He's recovering from a broken hip in a nursing home where his busy family have put him. Right down the street a circus is putting up tent. Jacob is suddenly transported to memory-land.
Just days before Jacob was due to graduate from veterinary school, his parents are killed in a traffic accident. While settling their affairs, Jacob learns they had remortgaged the house for his schooling. So a despondent Jacob jumps a train and finds himself among circus folk. With his veterinary schooling he soon finds himself a welcome addition.
Among the people he meets with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth is the cruel animal trainer August, and his beautiful equestrian wife, Marlene. And there's also the elephant, Rosie.
I loved this book. I'm going to make my sister read it. I have to buy my own copy though. I checked it out of the library not kowing how much I would like it. I only chose it for the BookAwards ChallengeII because it had won one.