Books Kids Fiction The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/d1/3c/29/11110_11594337-1360702585.jpg
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
798   0
Age Range
10+
Release Date
January 17, 2012
ISBN
0061992259
Buy This Book
      
Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.

Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.

Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

Editor reviews

I was blowing my nose with more gusto than an elephant trumpeting its trunk after finishing Katherine Applegate’s “The One and Only Ivan.” I even made an audible grunt as I tried desperately to stifle my body’s instinct to burst into tears at the end of this book. Grab the Kleenex for this one before you dive in!

“Ivan” follows Ivan the gorilla as he wallows in his way-too-small cage at a rural mall. The only thing that makes his day worthwhile is when he gets to draw. Ivan has got some serious art skills, and it’s with paint in hand that he works to make his life, and his baby elephant/mall-mate pal Ruby’s life, better.

I have never read a book before in which I’ve wanted to hug literally every single character. I want to hug Ivan and Ruby for living in such squalor, I want to hug the girl who visits them every night and wishes they had a better life, I even want to hug the “bad guy,” Mack, for having seemingly good intentions when he first got Ivan, but somehow let the worst parts of his soul get the better of him. Hugs for everyone!

It speaks to Applegate’s writing ability that she can depict the good and bad in all of her characters. No person (or gorilla or elephant) is 100% good or 100% bad. We are a mix of light and dark, good and evil, and Applegate gets that across. She does so in a way that is digestible to young readers and recognizable to older ones.

This is a quick read, yet its speed does not at all hamper the emotion in the slightest. In fact, it may even give the book more of an emotional punch by not being bogged down with unnecessary fluff.

Applegate was completely deserving of the Newbery award with this one. Now I’m off to the zoo to see if there are any melancholy primates in need of a hug.
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

This Gorilla is Definitely Deserving of the Newbery

I was blowing my nose with more gusto than an elephant trumpeting its trunk after finishing Katherine Applegate’s “The One and Only Ivan.” I even made an audible grunt as I tried desperately to stifle my body’s instinct to burst into tears at the end of this book. Grab the Kleenex for this one before you dive in!

“Ivan” follows Ivan the gorilla as he wallows in his way-too-small cage at a rural mall. The only thing that makes his day worthwhile is when he gets to draw. Ivan has got some serious art skills, and it’s with paint in hand that he works to make his life, and his baby elephant/mall-mate pal Ruby’s life, better.

I have never read a book before in which I’ve wanted to hug literally every single character. I want to hug Ivan and Ruby for living in such squalor, I want to hug the girl who visits them every night and wishes they had a better life, I even want to hug the “bad guy,” Mack, for having seemingly good intentions when he first got Ivan, but somehow let the worst parts of his soul get the better of him. Hugs for everyone!

It speaks to Applegate’s writing ability that she can depict the good and bad in all of her characters. No person (or gorilla or elephant) is 100% good or 100% bad. We are a mix of light and dark, good and evil, and Applegate gets that across. She does so in a way that is digestible to young readers and recognizable to older ones.

This is a quick read, yet its speed does not at all hamper the emotion in the slightest. In fact, it may even give the book more of an emotional punch by not being bogged down with unnecessary fluff.

Applegate was completely deserving of the Newbery award with this one. Now I’m off to the zoo to see if there are any melancholy primates in need of a hug.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

Already have an account? or Create an account
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

From Alison Cherry, author of Red, a novel PW declares “sparkles with wit,” comes a terrific new book about two...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
A bright, poignant, and deeply funny autobiographical account of coming of age as an amputee cancer survivor, from Josh Sundquist:...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A TREMBLING EARTH The flames of civil war sweep across the Shima Imperium. With their plans to renew the Kazumitsu...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Phantom's Dance Book Review
Category: Young Adult Indie
Christine Dadey’s family uprooted their lives and moved to Houston for her to attend the prestigious Rousseau Academy of Dance....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A streetwise girl trains to take on a gang of drug dealers and avenge her best friend’s death in this...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
the cure for dreaming.jpg
Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in...
 
3.8 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
unmade.jpg
Powerful love comes with a price. Who will be the sacrifice? Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Thrust into a world of men, can a timid girl find bravery as the first female Death? Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
The stress is getting to fifteen-year-old Jess. Her mum’s officially lost it, going from yummy mummy to seriously weird almost...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
“Powerful. Clever. A solid ... choice for both girls and boys.” —Publishers Weekly Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarterfinalist...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Whispering Skull.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
In the six months since Anthony, Lucy, and George survived a night in the most haunted house in England, Lockwood...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Screaming Staircase.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Sudden Light.jpg
In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
My Cousins Keeper.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
When the odd new kid at school turns out to be his cousin, Kieran feels embarrassed and resentful. But how...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Number 7.jpg
It all starts with a mysterious phone call from Louisa's decorative antique phone. And that wouldn't be so strange, except...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Gollywood, Here I Come! | Children's Book About Celebrities
Category: Kids Indie
The Tale of a Young Turkey’s Rise to Cinematic Stardom. Who doesn’t fantasize about becoming a big movie star, living...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Combining the survival instincts made famous in THE HUNGER GAMES with the intensity of THE BOOK THIEF, LAST STOP KLINDENSPIEL...
 
0.0
 
4.8 (1)
With inspiration from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman's Daughter trilogy—perfect for fans of Libba Bray—explores the...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
From Allison van Diepen, author of Snitch and Street Pharm, comes a sexy, dangerous novel about...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)