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The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
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The One and Only Ivan (edition 2012)

by Katherine Applegate, Patricia Castelao (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,0392503,276 (4.35)78
Member:MissAda
Title:The One and Only Ivan
Authors:Katherine Applegate
Other authors:Patricia Castelao (Illustrator)
Info:HarperCollins (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

  1. 21
    Charlotte's Web by E. B. White (C.Vick)
  2. 00
    A Dogʼs Life: The Autobiography of a Stray by Ann M. Martin (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These tender, wistful stories of survival are told from an animal's perspective -- stray pooch, Squirrel, and captured gorilla, Ivan. While humans both help and hinder them during their long struggles, they find hope (and secure homes) in the end.… (more)
  3. 11
    The Underneath by Kathi Appelt (C.Vick)
  4. 11
    Wonder by R. J. Palacio (FFortuna)
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Showing 1-5 of 276 (next | show all)
Review first published on BookLikes: http://brokentune.booklikes.com/post/899198/the-one-and-only-ivan

4.5*

“Memories are precious,” Stella adds. “They help tell us who we are."

This was unexpected. There I was, sitting at work, checking BL updates, minding my own business, when - WHAM! - Martini exercised her Svengali-mind-control tricks. Next thing I know, I'm engrossed in the story of Ivan, the one and only.

Ivan is gorilla who is kept in a circus themed mall. He loves art.

There is not much more I can say without spoiling the story, so I won't.

Except, I cannot remember the last time when a visit to the mall filled me with so much rage, sadness, and just enough hope to keep from despairing over human stupidity.

"Humans.
Sometimes they make chimps look smart."
( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
Can't help but love a story of friendship and the power of kindness from a gorilla's point of view. The poetic words of Ivan touch reader's hearts, and the illustrations are beautiful. Based on a true story that bears researching, this will encourage great discussion with young readers. ( )
  TLDennis | Jul 27, 2016 |
This book fits under the category of modern fantasy with its heroism and special character types, in that the main characters are talking animals. It is for ages 8-12 years old and it is 336 pages long. However, each page contains very little text so it is actually a fairly quick read. It is the winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller. It is inspired by the true story of a gorilla named Ivan who lived isolated for 27 years in a shopping mall. This is an unexpected story of friendship, heroism and the power of art to communicate. The real Ivan created paintings too, as the Ivan in the story does. The story is told through Ivan’s point of view. His friendship with Stella, Bob, and Julia and their quest to save baby elephant Ruby, will tug at and capture your heart in this unforgettable story.
  jmjobes | Jul 16, 2016 |
I'd wanted to read this for at least a year, but have been unproductive in my reading habits for a long time. After feeling bad that I wanted to buy this, didn't, buying [Crenshaw] instead, I got it from my library ASAP and devoured it in a couple of sessions. Unsurprisingly, it's short, if not a particularly easy read.

I always find flaw with books I read, and especially the great ones that are well-wrought, I seem to find some niggling detail that I can't let go of. Frankly, I need to get over it, because I think One and Only deserves the hype. The world where other animals and humans cohabitate, or, rather, interact closely, is a difficult one, and the nuance of it is often overshadowed. Applegate has brought out wonderful and genuine, if somewhat slippery, sympathy for the captor of these animals, Mack. The period of introspection that Ivan finally allows himself with the introduction of the young elephant Ruby also shows us Mack's journey, if not as completely. Maybe I wasn't the only one who imagined Mack's financial hardship and his narrow future after the shuttering of his circus mall... Applegate manages to balance our cheers for the free as well as the weight money lays on the humans of her story. A theme she continued in Crenshaw...

I like how Applegate formatted this, rendering Ivan's thoughts poetically, suiting his artist's soul. His sparse sentences and short use of words underlines a point he makes early on, humans use too many words, far more than gorillas ever need to. The illustrations as well are beautiful and tender, furthering illuminating the glimpses of emotion.

It ends, of course, with a full look at the bright future of the animals, presumably to reassure and explain to precocious readers just how a captive gorilla becomes a natural leader of a pack. I thought the end lacked the emotional climax I would have wanted, but was by no means flat or unsatisfactory. I guess I just like things to end with something more...

But I'm probably just being picky here, too. ( )
  knotbox | Jun 28, 2016 |
Another book to read with my daughter - quite charming really - an impressive writing style told from the point of view of the gorilla. I thouroughky enjoyed it and then talking to my daughter about it. ( )
  sbenne3 | Jun 11, 2016 |
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Katherine Applegateprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baldinucci, LoredanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
It is never too late to be

what you might have been.

--George Eliot
Dedication
for Julia
First words
I am Ivan. I am a gorilla. It's not as easy as it looks.
Quotations
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Book description
--from the book summary

When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061992259, Hardcover)

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.

Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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