Kate Hastings's Reviews > The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
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's review
Feb 16, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: animals, jfic-middle-grades-4-6, narrative
Read in December, 2013

Grades 3-5. RL 570. Ivan, a silverback gorilla, has been kept in captivity as a tourist attraction for a circus-themed mall. His only other companions are a stray dog named Bob and a wise old elephant named Stella. The mall begins to suffer financially and the owner Mack begins to scale back on cleaning, food, etc. As a last-ditch effort he brings in a baby elephant named Ruby.

Ruby has been taken from her family in the wild and Stella is deeply saddened that this young elephant's life will be long and lonely like hers. Stella makes Ivan promise to find a better life for Ruby.

And of course Ivan makes a promise. But what is a human-like gorilla that watches TV and draws pictures nobody recognizes supposed to do? Is their life really so bad?

Inspired by a real gorilla named Ivan who was liberated from an old shopping mall and relocated to a zoo in Atlanta. Newbery Award Winner 2013.

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Reading Progress

12/08/2013 marked as: read

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