One and Only Ivan, The

Katherine Applegate
Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller, this stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. 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 twenty-seven 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 in 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.In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create an unforgettable story of friendship, art, and hope. This paperback edition includes an author's note highlighting the differences between the fictional story and true events, a version of the author's Newbery Medal acceptance speech, Ivan's "signature," discussion questions, and more.The One and Only Ivan is a strong Common Core title that features these important strands and standards: first-person narrative; author's use of literary devices (personification, imagery); story elements (plot, character development, perspective).


Reviewed: 2020-02-25

I was surprised when I opened up and saw the short paragraph/short chapter format, but the story was great. I didn't mind the first person gorilla and the ending was happy all around. Besides I like reading books that are short and sweet!

Reviewed: 2017-01-19


You should read the "the one and only Ivan". If you like gorrillas then you will like this book. It's a story about a gorilla that makes a new friend worth a life time.

Reviewed: 2017-01-18

If you like sad yet loving books you'll love The One and Only Ivan. The One and Only Ivan is about a gorilla who was taken from the wild and his family. He moved to a small cage in a mall Where he met a baby elephant named Rudy. Everthing changes the way he thought and moved. Will there be a happy ending? Read it to find out.


Kaitlyn B.



Reviewed: 2016-09-26


If you pick it up, you won't put it down until you finish least that is what happened to me.  The story is told entirely from the caged gorilla Ivan's point of view. I found it very thought provoking when it comes to animal rights and how we humans treat animals for entertainment purposes.  It makes me think of the pacing polar bear at the Bronx Zoo.  My heart still breaks from witnessing that exhibit this past summer. It makes you think and inspires a call to it did for Julia in the book.  The little girl who starts the movement to make a very wrong situation right.

We teach persuasive writing in third grade and last year I had one student write about animals in captivity. It was one of the best pieces of writing I have ever read from a student. I think this book could definately generate an opinion from students.  This book could also be used in the upper grades as part of a text set with non-fiction books on animals, zoos, habitats and captivity. 

This is a fiction book that is inspired by true events making it even more touching.



Item Posts
@stormdeb completed #oneandonlyivanth... on 2018-12-26
@kristinawithak completed #oneandonlyivanth... on 2018-06-06
@kristinawithak began #oneandonlyivanth... on 2018-05-20
@hsnclr completed #oneandonlyivanth... on 2016-06-15