Friday, June 17, 2016

The One and Only Ivan

By Katherine Applegate

Winner of the 2013 Newberry Medal and a #1 New York Times Bestseller, this stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendships. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point-of-view of Ivan himself.
Having spent 27 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 if 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.

This is a sweet story of an artist named Ivan. Ivan happens to be a gorilla that lives in a small mall zoo. His paintings are sold to tourists and he is pretty content with his life and his friends. Bob is the mutt that stays with him sometimes, sleeping on Ivan’s belly at night. Stella is the old and wise elephant that is Ivan’s best friend. Then things start changing around the mall. A new baby elephant is sent there, and Stella makes Ivan promise to take care of her. In this short novel we come to care for and cheer for Ivan, Stella, and Bob, along with their human friends who band together to save baby Ruby, and in turn just might find a better life for themselves as well. 

4 out of 5

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