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)
728   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

Leon Harris is perfectly satisfied being a slacker. In fact, he's embraced it. But when Anna B. -- yeah, that...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die. Seventeen-year-old...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Watchers Book Cover
Category: Young Adult Indie
The Colony. Perfect. Safe. Wholesome. Not a single violent crime since its creation. People are given jobs based on...
 
0.0
 
4.8 (1)
Category: Kids Fiction
Maddie is desperate to keep her favorite horse from being sold in this first book in a contemporary middle grade...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
The Brewster triplets, Dawn, Darby, and Delaney, would usually spend their summer eating ice cream, playing with their dog, and...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
As a young boy, Derek Jeter dreams of being the shortstop for the New York Yankees. He even imagines himself...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Patriotism across the generations as a little girl and her great aunt learn the Pledge of Allegiance together. Libby's great...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
From bestselling author Patricia Polacco's family tree -- the true story of young Clara Barton. Animals and flowers were Clara's...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
An action-packed fracture fairy tale featuring a free-spirited princess and her quest to achieve the elusive happily-ever-after that she always...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
With swashbuckling action that recall Dumas' Three Musketeers Sebastien de Castell has created a dynamic new fantasy series. In Traitor's...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two sisters are summoned to their aunt's Greenwich Village flat, where they must start dressing like young ladies, cultivate their...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The hunter becomes the hunted. . . . West Grayer is done killing. She defeated her Alternate, a twin raised...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
All sixteen-year-old Sam wants in her life is a guy who doesn't suck blood, and has a pulse. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
An original eNovella set in the world of the Lotus War before the events of Stormdancer... Your blood-red skies are...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Hilary Westfield is a pirate. In fact, she’s the Terror of the Southlands! She’s daring, brave, fearless, and . ....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 1994, French cartoonist Emmanuel Guibert befriended an American veteran named Alan Cope and began creating his new friend's graphic...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Secret lives, scandalous turns, and some very funny surprises — these essays by leading kids’ lit bloggers take us behind...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A novel of love during a time of war by NBC's Afghanistan correspondent. Set in present-day Afghanistan, this is the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the comics boom of the 1940s, a legend was born: the Green Turtle. He solved crimes and fought injustice...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)