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The One and Only Ivan
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★ "Animal-loving youngsters and their adults will find plenty of food for thought in Ivan's extraordinary story."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
★ "Will capture readers' hearts and never let go. A must have."--School Library Journal (starred review)
"Discover an animal hero that will take his place with other courageous and beloved animals such as Babe, Mrs. Frisby, Charlotte and Wilbur. Adults reading this aloud with children will find it just as rewarding."--Shelf Awareness
"Katherine Applegate's beautiful, life-affirming story will soar directly from Ivan's heart into your own. Read it out loud. Read it alone. Read it."--Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor author of The Underneath
"The One and Only Ivan will break your heart--and then, against all odds, mend it again. In cheering for Ivan and his friends, we cheer for our own humanity and our own possibilities. Read this."--Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery Honor author of The Wednesday Wars
"A beautifully written, intelligent and brave book. You will never look at the relationship of humans and animals in the same way again. Quite simply, this story is life changing."--Patricia MacLachlan, Newbery Medal-winning author of Sarah, Plain and Tall
"Important."--The Horn Book
From the Back Cover
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.
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Top reviews from Australia
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Having the experience of empathising with another who is challenged, troubled and living in less-than appropriate conditions, brings about a gift of transformational change, previously denied.
There's nothing like empathy to grow the 'care-factor' so much needed and deserved by the children in my class, who have been the audience for this beautiful story... thank you!
Top reviews from other countries
I was asked by one of my students to get The One and Only Ivan for our school library and because I am a delightful person I bought a copy. Then I read it. We like to vet as many of the books that we can so that we don’t cause any upset to our students. I really wasn’t prepared for this story.
I am not a lover of animal stories. It isn’t that I actively won’t read them but they wouldn’t be my first choice. The One and Only Ivan is based on the true story of Ivan the gorilla who was kept in captivity in a mall in America. In this story, the animals are anthropomorphised and we see from their point of view what it is like to live in captivity. The other animals – mainly the elephants Ruby and Stella – make Ivan remember what life is like outside of captivity.
The One and Only Ivan had me in bits. If you do read it then please keep the box of tissues handy because you will need them.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate is available now.