The One and Only Ivan
Title: The One and Only Ivan
Author: Katherine Applegate
I really liked The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Ivan is a silverback gorilla living in a circus-themed mall, with a stray dog named Bob, and Stella, an aging elephant. When a baby elephant, Ruby, is brought in to revive the failing mall, Ivan realizes it’s his duty to have her rescued. The story is funny, heart-warming, and hopeful. Written in verse, you’ll fly though the pages and cheer for Ivan.
-Liz at Gaines
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.