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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
2,0612523,225 (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)
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    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)
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    Wonder by R. J. Palacio (FFortuna)
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» See also 78 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 278 (next | show all)
This book was literally thrust into my hand at the library by the children's librarian who said that if she were to write a book, she would want it to be just like this. It was a quick read and one I'm definitely glad I undertook (yay for librarians with great book recommendation ability!).

This the story of Ivan, a gorilla who lives in a cage at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. Yeah. Not really the ideal setting for a gorilla whose instincts are to socialize, explore, and be creative. Ivan loves drawing and forms a special bond with a little girl who also draws; she's the daughter of the janitor. Thanks to Castelao's illustrations, we get to see some of this art in the book as well as getting a better sense of our main characters. Because Ivan's other close friends include an elephant (also on display) and a dog (who doesn't have a real home and sneaks in and out to sleep on Ivan's chest at night). It's a unique existence, but Ivan can't really remember much of his past, so it's all right.

Then a new elephant is purchased and she is sad but inquisitive. She asks for stories, and Ivan pulls up some of his long-repressed memories of his family and his twin sister--all dead and gone now thanks to people. He remembers his childhood as a pet and then being moved into the mall, and he starts to realize that this is not where he or any of them belongs. Instead of wanting to go free, however, he does his best to try to get the baby elephant a better home. He uses his artistic skills and cleverness and keeps his promises and protects his band (his family).

There are so many touching moments in this story. There are lines so sad they made me cry, delivered casually and off-handedly because that's just the way the world works, as Ivan sees it. My heart ached for all the animals. Their home is not a terrible one, but due to lack of funds/commercialism, there is mistreatment (even if there is regret on the part of the humans, that's no reason to hurt animals). And the truth is, this really isn't the best place for any of the animals. They try to be happy and love their friends, but it's still not good or healthy or right. It's hard to see that when you're an animal living in the moment, though. I love that these guys are able to look to the past and the future and figure out some way to improve their situation. And then, with humans' help, they achieve it.

It's a beautiful, touching, sweet, heartwarming book about the relationship between wild but captive animals and humans. There's a lot unsaid about the responsibility we humans have for all living creatures (from wild animals to domesticated ones). And it's a book that says so much about the relationships in our lives--what defines and motivates us. A wonderful read.
  katekintail | Sep 3, 2016 |
This book was literally thrust into my hand at the library by the children's librarian who said that if she were to write a book, she would want it to be just like this. It was a quick read and one I'm definitely glad I undertook (yay for librarians with great book recommendation ability!).

This the story of Ivan, a gorilla who lives in a cage at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. Yeah. Not really the ideal setting for a gorilla whose instincts are to socialize, explore, and be creative. Ivan loves drawing and forms a special bond with a little girl who also draws; she's the daughter of the janitor. Thanks to Castelao's illustrations, we get to see some of this art in the book as well as getting a better sense of our main characters. Because Ivan's other close friends include an elephant (also on display) and a dog (who doesn't have a real home and sneaks in and out to sleep on Ivan's chest at night). It's a unique existence, but Ivan can't really remember much of his past, so it's all right.

Then a new elephant is purchased and she is sad but inquisitive. She asks for stories, and Ivan pulls up some of his long-repressed memories of his family and his twin sister--all dead and gone now thanks to people. He remembers his childhood as a pet and then being moved into the mall, and he starts to realize that this is not where he or any of them belongs. Instead of wanting to go free, however, he does his best to try to get the baby elephant a better home. He uses his artistic skills and cleverness and keeps his promises and protects his band (his family).

There are so many touching moments in this story. There are lines so sad they made me cry, delivered casually and off-handedly because that's just the way the world works, as Ivan sees it. My heart ached for all the animals. Their home is not a terrible one, but due to lack of funds/commercialism, there is mistreatment (even if there is regret on the part of the humans, that's no reason to hurt animals). And the truth is, this really isn't the best place for any of the animals. They try to be happy and love their friends, but it's still not good or healthy or right. It's hard to see that when you're an animal living in the moment, though. I love that these guys are able to look to the past and the future and figure out some way to improve their situation. And then, with humans' help, they achieve it.

It's a beautiful, touching, sweet, heartwarming book about the relationship between wild but captive animals and humans. There's a lot unsaid about the responsibility we humans have for all living creatures (from wild animals to domesticated ones). And it's a book that says so much about the relationships in our lives--what defines and motivates us. A wonderful read. ( )
  katekintail | Sep 3, 2016 |
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 |
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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
Last words
Disambiguation notice
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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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