The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan

 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
1137   0
Write Review
The One and Only Ivan
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

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0  (1)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0  (1)
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.

Good Points
The most endearing gorilla you'll ever meet.
Intricate and powerful delivery of the good and bad in all of us.
Details animal rights issues without feeling preachy.
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

Current Giveaways

 

   

  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

  

 

 

Latest Book Listings Added

Falling Over Sideways
It's not easy being Claire. (Really.) Claire's...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dead Girl's Society
You are cordially invited to participate in a game of...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Protecting William
William has always been destined for great things. With his...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Ones
Cody has always been proud of being a One. She...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Second Book of Ore: Waybound
Phoebe Plumm and Micah Tanner are a long way from...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Power of the Fortrex (Scholastic Reader, Level 2: LEGO NEXO Knights)
Clay likes to do things by the book- by the...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Steeplejack
Thoughtfully imaginative and action-packed, Steeplejack is New York Times...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Miss Mabel's School for Girls
Never underestimate the power of a determined witch. Letum...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Look Both Ways
A summer away from the city is the beginning...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
And I Darken
NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Losing Gabriel
This emotionally-charged novel about three high school seniors who...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Darkest Lie
“The mother I knew would never do those things....
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Cover PAGE
Seventeen-year-old Letti has shown enough talent to be living the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ninth City Burning
Centuries of war with aliens threaten the future of human...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Harry Potter Magical Creatures Coloring Book
House-elves and merpeople, Cornish pixies and dragons--the wizarding world is...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Bridge
Seventeen-year-old Everett Hallman may have been born a witch, but...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)