The One and Only Ivan (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

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

Winter 2012 Kids' Next List

“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 Harper Classic edition includes an author's note highlighting the differences between the fictional story and true events, a letter from Ivan's caretaker at Zoo Atlanta, 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 classics such as Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little. Katherine Applegate's novel blends humor and poignancy to create this incredible tale of friendship, art, and hope. The One and Only Ivan was named to multiple state lists, received three starred reviews, and was hailed as a best book of the year by Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Amazon.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062641946
ISBN-10: 0062641948
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: October 24th, 2017
Pages: 336
Language: English
Series: Harperclassics