The One and Only Ivan

By Katherine Applegate; Patricia Castelao (Illustrator)
(HarperCollins, Hardcover, 9780061992254, 320pp.)

Publication Date: January 2012

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Paperback, Compact Disc, Paperback, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Winter 2012 Kids' Next List
“Ivan, a gorilla, has spent most of his life with humans and the other animals at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. His memory of life before humans and cages is hazy, until a terrified young elephant joins him and he starts to remember the importance of family and belonging. A wonderful read, full of heart.”
-- Lisa Fabiano, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA


Description

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.




About the Author

Katherine Applegate’s many books include the Roscoe Riley Rules chapter book series, the picture book The Buffalo Storm, and the award-winning novel Home of the Brave. With her husband, Michael Grant, she wrote the hugely popular series Animorphs, which has sold more than 35 million copies worldwide.

Katherine was inspired to write The One and Only Ivan after reading about the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, the Shopping Mall Gorilla. The real Ivan lived alone in a tiny cage for twenty-seven years at a shopping mall before being moved to Zoo Atlanta after a public outcry. He is now a beloved celebrity at the zoo, which houses the nation’s largest collection of western lowland gorillas. Ivan is well known for his paintings, which he “signs” with a thumb-print.

Katherine lives in California with her husband and two children.




NPR
Thursday, Jun 13, 2013

Katherine Applegate's The One and Only Ivan was inspired by a real-life gorilla who lived in a mall in Tacoma, Wash. The author says humans have "a real obligation" to care responsibly for animals in captivity. More at NPR.org

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Praise For The One and Only Ivan

A must have.
-School Library Journal (starred review)

Extraordinary.
-Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new generation of advocates.
-Kirkus Reviews (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

Important.
-The Horn Book

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

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