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The One and Only Ivan

August 13, 2016

OneAndOnlyIvancoverBy Katherine Applegate

Published 2012, 320 pages

Synopsis: Ivan is a Silverback gorilla who lives in a small enclosure at a roadside mall. The maintenance worker for the mall often brings his daughter to work with him. She befriends Ivan and an elephant who is forced to do tricks in order to drawn in more customers. The girl feels sorry for the lonely animals. When a new baby elephant is brought in and threatened with a claw stick, Ivan feels compelled to do something to protect her. With the help of the young girl, he paints a picture of a zoo and paints the word “home” on it. The huge painting draws the attraction of animal rights protesters who finally rescue the animals.

Review: Why did I wait so long to read this book? It’s fantastic. I love that it’s told from the perspective of the gorilla; we get some insight into what he might be thinking. The author based this book on the true story of a gorilla named Ivan who was also trapped in a roadside attraction and who was also a gifted artist.   The language is very simple, sweet, and straightforward. The story unfolds a little slowly but I’m okay with the pace because it forces the reader to slow down and listed to what the gorilla has to say. I loved it. I won’t give away the ending; I’ll just say it was very satisfying. It’s terrible what these animals go through; I only wish there was maybe a little more about how these atrocities can be prevented.

Rating: 4 boots

Recommendation: A nice easy read for ages 9 and up.

Visit the One and Only Ivan website here:

From → Book Treks

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