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West with Giraffes




Q: What's it about?

A: Inspired by a true 1930s story, it's a century-spanning tale with a dead man's diary, a hurricane, the Great Depression, a cross-country trip, a Dust Bowl farmboy, a mysterious woman, a crusty zoo keeper, historical figures and headlines, humor, drama, mayhem, unrequited love, miscreants, reprobates...

              ...and did I mention giraffes?


Part historical adventure saga, part coming-of-age/love story, it's a wild ride across Depression-era America set against a 21st century endangered-species backdrop, exploring what it means to be changed by animals, by strangers, by time, by the open road, and by a single story told before it's too late.


*Selected Early Praise

"A perfect balance between history and fiction… Rutledge blends fictional characters with real historical personalities to create a story that is equal parts educational, quirky, and romantic.
–POPSUGAR.com: 15 Historical-Fiction Books as Compelling as Kristin Hannah's The Four Winds


"West with Giraffes is a madcap scrape of a coming-of-age road trip, complete with stowaways, circuses, attempted giraffe-napping, biblical catastrophe, romance, shocking truths, brave sacrifices, and tragedy—in short, a grand adventure." -Lone Star Literary Life, National Book Critics Circle member


"A flawless novel, West With Giraffes is exciting, and the end will leave you in tears of sadness and joy."   -Austin American-Stateman, USA TODAY Network


"Every year I find at least one book that soars above all the others.  This year West wih Giraffes is that book" -Jacksonville Florida Times-Union, USA TODAY Network

"...Larger-than-life story about the power of both animal magnetism and human connection...witty, charming, and heartwarming." - Booklist


*What do Readers think?*

For a few of the thousands of Reader Reviews,
*West with Giraffes*