"It's 1938. The great depression lingers. Hitler is threatening Europe and world= weary Americans long for wonder. They find it in two giraffes". They survive a hurricane in the Atlantic, they take a 12-day trip in custom made truck to the San Diego Zoo. The main character in this story is an 18 year old boy named Woodard who is also the narrator. "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".
The story is an adventure that is part historical, a love-story and 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".
As Woodward is growing older decisions change and it isn't til page 322 that you really get to know his life story and all those characters who left a mark on the man he would become.
I have to tell you this is going on my bookshelf for another read someday. The author offered the readers one great story that I could not stop reading.