Water For Elephants Summary

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The book I chose to read was Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen. It starts out with a ninety year old man, Jacob Jankowski, in a nursing home, but switches to see the story through the eyes of the twenty year old version of Jacob Jankowski. When Jacob is twenty he is in college at Cornell University to become a veterinarian, just like his father. He is about to graduate and get his degree, Jacob just has to take his final exam. The morning of the exam Jacob is ready. He is sitting at his desk mentally preparing himself when the professor calls him up. Jacob then learns that his mother and father were killed in a car accident. Jacob is devastated, he leaves class, goes to his parent’s house; pack a few things, and leaves, not looking back. It is the middle of the Great Depression and Jacob’s parents were in great debt. Jacob’s father owned his own practice and when people could not afford to pay him he would let them pay with eggs or other items, and sometimes nothing at all. They also took out a mortgage on the house to pay for Jacob’s school tuition, so the house belonged to the bank. Jacob kept walking, not knowing what else to do or where to go. Since Jacob’s family emigrated from Poland he has no other family, no home, and no degree. Then one night as he is walking along the train tracks a train starts to come by. On a sudden impulse Jacob runs with the train and jumps on. When he first jumps on he encounters Blackie, who is about to red light him, throw him off the train while it is in motion. But Camel, an older man stops him, and promises Jacob a job for the next day. Jacob soon finds out that he did not jump an ordinary train, but a circus train, called “Benzini Brother’s Most Spectacular Show on Earth!” After a hard day at work Jacob decides to stay, and Camel brings him to see Uncle Al, the owner of the circus. After Uncle Al discovers that Jacob

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