Katherine Applegate weaves the sweet story of a friendship between Ivan, a silverback gorilla and the rest of the animals in a second rate zoo. When the zoo owner faces financial difficulties, he brings in a new baby elephant to attract the crowds. The heartwarming story uses art, compassion, and kindness to bring healing and hope to a forgotten group of loveable creatures. Middle grade, highly recommended.— Martha
“Ivan, a gorilla, has spent most of his life with humans and the other animals at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. His memory of life before humans and cages is hazy, until a terrified young elephant joins him and he starts to remember the importance of family and belonging. A wonderful read, full of heart.”
— Lisa Fabiano, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA
Winner of the Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller
This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself. This paperback edition includes an author's note highlighting the differences between the fictional story and true events, a version of the author's Newbery Medal acceptance speech, Ivan's "signature," discussion questions, and more.
Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.
In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create an unforgettable story of friendship, art, and hope.
The One and Only Ivan features first-person narrative; author's use of literary devices (personification, imagery); and story elements (plot, character development, perspective).