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Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla
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Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  2,489 ratings  ·  449 reviews
In a spare, powerful text and evocative illustrations, the Newbery medalist Katherine Applegate and the artist G. Brian Karas present the extraordinary real story of a special gorilla.

Captured as a baby, Ivan was brought to a Tacoma, Washington, mall to attract shoppers. Gradually, public pressure built until a better way of life for Ivan was found at Zoo Atlanta. From the
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by Clarion Books
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Please visit my blog to see this review and learn more about Ivan the gorilla.

This book is the true story of Ivan the gorilla. He was brought to Washington straight from the Congo in the 60's at the age of 6 months. The story explains how he lived for 27 years before he was finally sent to Atlanta zoo. The story is shocking, but children find it interesting and create their own views on how they feel about animals in captivity.

This book is aimed at a younger
Mariah Roze
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a great, easy, true story read. It's about a Gorilla that gets stolen from the wild and is forced to live in a shopping mall. People did not like the animal cruelty, so they fought for him to have a better life.
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
I read this while standing in Barnes & Noble the other day. I actually grew up watching Ivan at the B&I in Tacoma, and have loved him my entire life. While I agree that much of his life must have been less fulfilling that it could have been, It irritated me that this little book paints the picture that as soon as Ivan is moved to Atlanta, Georgia his life is rosy. It was not. He had not spent any time with gorillas since his "sister" died and he didn't adapt well to the other gorillas ...more
Niki (Daydream Reader)
I love everything about this book....the dedication, the true story in picture book form and the background information. A beautiful heart print book that will go great with The One and Only Ivan.
Such an important book to read. I know the author wrote a longer novel on Ivan, but this is a great introduction for any who wants to know his story. It's amazing how humans treat animals. Yes we are capable of so much more than animals can be at times, but they still are living/breathing creatures that deserve love, respect, and appropriate attention. A lot of times I think people think having certain animals in captivity is cute, but sometimes I think it causes more harm than good when these ...more
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am a better person for having read Ivan's story. This book will have a special place on my shelf right next to Ivan, Ruby and all of their friends.
Becky B
A simple, non-fiction picture book about the gorilla who was the inspiration for The One and Only Ivan.

This is aimed at the kids not quite old enough to read The One and Only Ivan yet. It's a nice introduction to the gorilla who lived much of his life in a mall. Those who have read Applegate's fictionalized story about Ivan will not find much new information except more pictures of the real Ivan.
One Code 431
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's sooooo sad story but it's happening all over the world . Humans are so cruel to those baby animals and sooo many doesn't survive like burma .... I am sad now ...more
Carrie Gelson
I read this first through teary eyes. The beginning sentence is too beautiful. And oh how I love Ivan. He occupied our hearts - my students and mine when we read Applegate's special novel The One and Only Ivan in the spring. I have to practice reading this book multiple times before tomorrow so that I can read it without my voice catching when I look up at those little faces who love Ivan too. Thank you to Katherine and G. Brian Karas for making this beautiful picture book so that Ivan't story ...more
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well, tears came to my eyes. Lovely. Just what you'd expect from a non-fiction picture-book companion to The One and Only Ivan.
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Katherine Applegate talks about Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla
Amanda [Novel Addiction]
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile
Very good picture book featuring Ivan, the shopping mall gorilla. Great illustrations, and the author did an amazing job at making the tragic story simple enough to be understood by a younger audience.

Well done.

But the "One and Only Ivan" is by far still the best version of this story. (And heartbreaking!)
Don't miss the author's note with additional information about Ivan's life and the special note from Ivan's keeper.
Jillian Heise
A beautifully told story. A must read after The One and Only Ivan.
Alexa Marshall
1) (show front cover to students) This book has a long title. Let's all read the title together; (as a class read) "Ivan the Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla". Great job! In the title, it has the words "true story". Can someone please tell me if that means that this book is a nonfiction story or if it's telling me that this book is fiction? You're right! It is nonfiction. That means that this story happened in real life, and the author and illustrator decided to tell a real ...more
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All my reviews can be found at:
This is the sad, but true story of Ivan the gorilla. It has a happy ending and is aimed for younger children. Ivan was taken away from his family as a baby in the Congo and grew up in Tacoma, Washington. He became a shopping mall spectacle to attract shoppers. He lived in cage at the shopping mall in for 27 years!

Finally after protests Ivan was sent to Zoo Atlanta where he lived the rest of his life. He lived to
Katherine Lochbaum
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
While keeping lighthearted illustrations, Katherine Applegate broaches a very sad story to tell. Ivan, a gorilla taken from home at a very young age and kept in a B&I store in a shopping mall in the 1960s and 1970s will bring very powerful conversations to any classroom. I love that the author gives readers a glimpse into the life of the gorilla family in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, from which Ivan was abducted, and then a very clear view of his life in the United States ...more
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was wonderful. I have read the chapter book version of this story and this version captures the essence explored in the chapter book and is wonderful to read to children of all ages! One thing I loved about this story is the comparisons it makes to the man buying Ivan and his sister when it says how it was just "like a couple of pizzas, like a pair of shoes". This allows students to truly understand how simple this process was and how it was very degrading to Ivan and Berma. The ...more
1. -I will bring in a stuffed gorilla and a Henry Doorly Zoo map or item- "Today I brought in something really special from a really cool place." [Pulls out stuffed gorilla] "Who knows what this is?" [chilren respond]. "Yes a gorilla! Does anyone know where gorillas live at?" [children respond] "thats right they can live in the jungle, but can they also live in the zoo?" [children respond]. "Has anyone been to the zoo to see the gorillas?" [children respond] "Well this is a story about a gorilla ...more
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, childrens
Aww...this is a very sweet children's picture book about the real-life Ivan using what facts are known about his life. I listened to The One and Only Ivan audiobook not too long ago and fell in love with the book, even though I know much of it was fiction. But it was nice to read this picture book, and especially the biography about the real Ivan at the end of this book. I really like the illustrations in this book and think it would be a great book to read to the kids in my daughters' former ...more
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
What better way to extend the influence of 2013 Newbery Medal winner The One and Only Ivan than adapting it for the picture-book set, allowing even younger readers and pre-readers to appreciate the story of a majestic silverback gorilla and his three-decade odyssey back to the natural world? Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla serves precisely this purpose, and author Katherine Applegate gives a performance comparable to her earlier novel. If anyone is familiar with ...more
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: state-award
"How many of you have been to the zoo? Do you ever wonder how all of the animals got there? Do you think that wild animals should serve as pets? Today, we are going to read about a baby gorilla that is taken from his home and family and sent to the U.S. where he is treated like a house pet until he gets too big. Then the owners send him to live in a shopping mall."
-Raise questions to spark curiousity
-Foreshadow the problem of the story
-Raise interest in a topic or theme
Faith Tydings
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. The story is sweet but the backmatter is profound. Don't stop reading until you have read every work of the back pages.
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This award-winning author and illustrator together share the true story of Ivan, a gorilla captured as an infant in central Africa and brought to a mall in Tacoma, Washington to entertain shoppers. Originally, another baby named Burma was taken along with Ivan, but she died soon after their arrival.

Ivan lived in a home like a human child for his first three years, but as he got bigger, he was transferred to a cage in the mall. He seemed lonely and bored and both children and adults began to
Gretchen Taylor
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informational
rich conversations about authors’ moves: “Why did the author choose this picture/font choice/heading?” “Why did the author say this?” This requires students to draw on what’s explicitly stated and make inferences, which will transfer into how they think about their own reading and how they approach their own writing.

RI Standard 5: look at the structure of the writing: starts with his natural habitat, talks about the progression into the mall, then freedom
RI Standard 6: what does the
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: pb-informational
It would be interesting to consider responses and ratings from those who read this without having read The One and Only Ivan with those who have previously read the novel. I found this picturebook version to be considerably less evocative than the novel, but that may just be me....

Perhaps another worth considering is the choice of the picturebook format itself. I found GBK's illustrations in this book to be, as usual, thoughtful and very well rendered. But the spare text didn't actually work all
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla is the story of a gorilla from Africa taken into captivity and sent to a mall as an attraction. This story was heart-wrenching because Ivan was stolen from his family in the wild and was forced to live the life of a human until he was too big to do so. Ivan did many things a human would do like go to baseball games and paint. As Ivan became bigger, people began to feel bad for him and wanted his owners to send him to the wild. Ivan was ...more
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a wonderful story about a baby gorilla's journey from the jungle, to shopping mall cage, to a zoo. Ivan, a baby gorilla who was taken from his family by poachers was taken to Washington because a man had bought him and another gorilla to keep in his mall. After the death of the other gorilla Burma, Ivan was sad and had to learn to live a lonely life. He lived for awhile as a human, but when he became too big he was stuck in the cage in the shopping mall. People became furious about ...more
Applegate sure has a way with words. Using even fewer words than she did in her Newbery-winning The One and Only Ivan, she tells the true story of Ivan in picture book format. It's still kind of a sad story involving Ivan spending 27 years in a fourteen by fourteen cage. Thankfully it does have a happy ending with Ivan living the last 18 years at Zoo Atlanta. It's an interesting commentary on the whole nature versus nurture debate though when you consider that despite living with female gorillas ...more
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ivan was a very young gorilla when he was kidnapped by poachers and sold to an American businessman. For over 20 years this unfortunate gorilla endured isolation in a shopping mall enclosure with no companions, fresh air or grass to sit on. Only because of the efforts of concerned citizens was he finally given a second chance at life. This is a sad but ultimately hopeful story which will teach young readers about the need to respect and protect wildlife.

I have assigned this book a “junior”
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Katherine Applegate is the author of The One and Only Ivan, winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal. Her novel Crenshaw spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times children's bestseller list, and her first middle-grade stand-alone novel, the award-winning Home of the Brave, continues to be included on state reading lists, summer reading lists, and class reading lists.

Katherine has written three picture