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The One and Only Ivan

Cover of The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan

My Story
Borrow Borrow Borrow

Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller, this stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendships. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point-of-view of Ivan himself.

Having spent 27 years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

The One and Only Ivan was hailed as a best book of the year by Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Amazon, demonstrating it is a true classic in the making. In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan's unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope. An author's note depicts the differences between the fictional story and true events.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller, this stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendships. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point-of-view of Ivan himself.

Having spent 27 years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

The One and Only Ivan was hailed as a best book of the year by Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Amazon, demonstrating it is a true classic in the making. In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan's unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope. An author's note depicts the differences between the fictional story and true events.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    3.6
  • Lexile:
    570
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    2 - 3

Recommended for you


 
Awards-
About the Author-
  • Katherine Applegate's many books include the Roscoe Riley Rules chapter book series, the picture book The Buffalo Storm, and the award-winning novel Home of the Brave. With her husband, Michael Grant, she wrote the hugely popular series Animorphs, which has sold more than 35 million copies worldwide.

    Katherine was inspired to write The One and Only Ivan after reading about the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, the Shopping Mall Gorilla. The real Ivan lived alone in a tiny cage for twenty-seven years at a shopping mall before being moved to Zoo Atlanta after a public outcry. He was a beloved celebrity at the zoo, which houses the nation's largest collection of western lowland gorillas. Ivan was well known for his paintings, which he "signed" with a thumbprint.

    Katherine lives in California with her husband and two children.

Reviews-
  • DOGO Books palindrome - Katherine Applegate's The One and Only Ivan makes you think about what it means to be human by showing you the world through the eyes of a non-human. This book is narrated in the first person by its protagonist, Ivan. Ivan is quiet, easygoing, artistic, and a gorilla. Until a baby elephant called Ruby moves into the domain next to Ivan's at Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, Ivan calls his glass domain home. But with the help of spirited and playful Ruby, the helpful young human Julia, a feisty stray dog called Bob, and the wise, big-hearted elephant known as Stella, Ivan realizes what home really is--and starts an adventure trying to get there. I would recommend this book to animal-lovers and deep-thinkers. It has a lot of example of animal abuse and neglect in circuses, so if you are passionate about that issue you will probably enjoy The One and Only Ivan. Ivan also makes the reader think about the rights that all creatures have: do animals have a right to live as humans? Are humans obligated to care for animals? Who has a right to a true home? This book has very little action, but a lot of heart. Its language is simple and innocent, being told through the eyes of a gorilla, so even early readers may find that they can enjoy the One and Only Ivan. However, the simple language doesn't take away from the story for more advanced readers. In fact, it only adds to the sadness and philosophical thinking of the story. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a story that will make them think, smile, and cry. Reading The One and Only Ivan gives the reader both questions and answers about being a human and not being a human. I strongly recommend The One and Only Ivan to anyone who wants an original, moving, and deep story to read.
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 14, 2011
    Inspired by a true story, Applegate (Home of the Brave) offers a haunting tale told from the perspective of Ivan, a silverback gorilla who has been confined to a small “domain” of concrete, metal, and glass for 27 years. Joining Ivan at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade are Stella, an aging elephant, and Bob, a feisty stray dog. While other animals perform, Ivan makes art, watches TV, and offers melancholy assessments of their situation. When Ruby, an inquisitive baby elephant, arrives and Stella dies from neglect, her dying wish is for Ivan to help Ruby escape. The brief chapters read like free-verse poetry, the extra line breaks between paragraphs driving home the contrast between Ivan and humans, who in his opinion, “waste words. They toss them like banana peels and leave them to rot.” As is to be expected, there’s significant anthropomorphism, but Applegate is largely successful in creating a protagonist who can understand humans yet feels like a gorilla. Although Ivan’s role in the events leading to their rescue reads as too human, readers will be left rethinking our relationship to animals. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12.

  • School Library Journal (starred review)

    "Will capture readers' hearts and never let go. A must have."

  • Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

    "Animal-loving youngsters and their adults will find plenty of food for thought in Ivan's extraordinary story."

  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    "Exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage."

  • Shelf Awareness

    "Discover an animal hero that will take his place with other courageous and beloved animals such as Babe, Mrs. Frisby, Charlotte and Wilbur. Adults reading this aloud with children will find it just as rewarding."

  • The Horn Book

    "Important."

  • Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery Honor author of The Wednesday Wars

    "The One and Only Ivan will break your heart--and then, against all odds, mend it again. In cheering for Ivan and his friends, we cheer for our own humanity and our own possibilities. Read this."

  • Patricia MacLachlan, Newbery Medal-winning author of Sarah, Plain and Tall

    "A beautifully written, intelligent and brave book. You will never look at the relationship of humans and animals in the same way again. Quite simply, this story is life changing."

  • Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor author of The Underneath

    "Katherine Applegate's beautiful, life-affirming story will soar directly from Ivan's heart into your own. Read it out loud. Read it alone. Read it."

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    HarperCollins
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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My Story
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