The following is a book review by The Ameri Brit Mom. This is book #11 from The Ameri Brit Mom 24 Book Challenge in 2016. This post expresses the genuine opinion and experiences of The Ameri Brit Mom and is in no way endorsed by authors, publishers, or outside influences.
Title: The One and Only Ivan
Author: Katherine Applegate
Copyright Date: 2012
My husband recommended this book to me a few months ago. It is one he plans to read with his fourth grade students this upcoming school year. This was a quick and easy read appropriate for use in the late-elementary classroom. It only took me two days to read through all three hundred pages of this text because I was hooked into the story line and the pace of the book kept my interest.
Ivan is a silver back gorilla. He lives in a cage at the Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. Ivan’s domain is surrounded by other animals and friends that he communicates with regularly, but he is the only gorilla. Julia’s father works maintenance for the mall and most nights she tags along to his shift with him. As her father works Julia can be found near the animal cages working with paints and sketching. Over time, Ivan builds a relationship with Julia and she even teaches him to finger paint.
One day a new elephant, Ruby, joins the animals at Big Top. At first, Ivan isn’t sure what to think about this small elephant, but because of his strong and patient heart he makes a promise to take care of her.
As a silver back gorilla Ivan is a born leader. It is with his instincts to protect that he devises a plan that enlists Julia and her father. And in his act of love for Ruby he helps her out of a dangerous situation.
The One and Only Ivan is a story of friendship and the bonds formed between an unlikely duo. Ivan will stop at anything to make sure Ruby is safe from the owners of the mall. Even if it costs him all he has.
This was an incredibly cute and endearing tale that should be shared with children of all ages. It was no surprise to me to see that the book had won the Newberry Medal. Every reader needs to periodically return to the stories that caused them to first fall in love with reading. This was one of those books for me.
The Ameri Brit Mom