Christopher
Christopher asked:

Is this a true story? It seems true but I'm not sure

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Asteropê There was a real gorilla named Ivan. According to Wiki: He spent the first 27 years of his life in a 40' x 40' concrete enclosure on display for the public at the B&I Circus Store in Tacoma, Washington. He was then moved to a zoo.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_%28...
Forrest Baum I'm pretty sure Katherine Applegate is really Ivan's pen-name...
Carrie at the end of the book the author discusses her background for the book, a bit true with lots of creative licensing...

samadhi It is a little bit real but there are some made up character's. Ivan is real.
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