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The One And Only Ivan (2012)

The One and Only Ivan (2012)

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4.37 of 5 Votes: 7
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0061992259 (ISBN13: 9780061992254)

About book The One And Only Ivan (2012)

This is the 2nd version of this story I've read by Katherine Applegate (as I came to this story via the picture book version she wrote: "Ivan: the Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla"). That this could really have happened breaks my heart. And yet, I'm not surprised.Beyond the true story of a Gorilla captured from the wild as a baby and ultimately raised in a cage in a mall, lies something that captures the attention of the soul and here it is done beautifully. In both versions Applegate excels at telling the story without being brutal, but it is in the novelization that she gets poetic. There are these little truths that come from Ivan's point of view that are just stunning in their almost haiku-like quality. This is definitely a book to be savored slowly because of that.There are other characters that are introduced to the story as well, that aren't really in the real story. Stella, Ruby, Bob, Julia and George (other animals or humans) are vital to the endearing qualities this story needed for children to be entertained. After all, without this creative license, we'd just have a gorilla in a cage and that is not very dramatic or engaging and yet, this novel is all of those things. Those characters give Ivan love, companionship, grief and purpose.I've heard several say this novel is the modern equivalent to "Charlotte's Web." While I understand the comparison (an animal story of companionship and loss), it isn't a very apt one to me. Where "Charlotte's Web" is a tale of loss, sacrifice and grief (and is used to help children deal with those same topics), this novel doesn't do quite those same things. Oh, it is still a story that involves some of those elements, but those are just part of the story, not the whole focus. Instead, this story gives grace and respect to an enduring character, an enduring animal, that captured the hearts of all who knew him. It doesn't condemn those who put him in these circumstances (though it could). It shows the wrongs without being vehement or vengeful. It gives the character a purpose (a story to tell and someone to defend, as a Silverback would do). It shows us all our greater humanity, it shows us love, and most importantly, it shows us hope. That this simple little novel can accomplish all of this leaves me breathless and dewy-eyed with emotion. It is no surprise to me that a book this wonderful won the Newbery Award. It is well deserved. I really liked this book. I liked how I truly got into the book and I even got emotional throughout the book and that doesn’t happen often so that is saying something. I liked the whole story plot and everything that happened in the book, from beginning until the end. Plot: The plot of the book was about a silverback gorilla whose name is Ivan. Ivan lives at the Big Top Mall with his friends Bob, Ruby and Stella. Mack is the care taker of all the animals at the mall and used to be kind of a father figure for Ivan until Ivan grew up. Mack wasn’t very nice towards the end of the book to the animals. Stella is an old elephant that has a broken leg and eventually dies, but before she dies she makes Ivan make a promise. Ivan tries everything to keep that promise and uses his artistic abilities to achieve that promise. Julie is George’s daughter and she helps Ivan with his drawings and is the one who helped Ivan accomplish his promise. Setting: The setting of the book is at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. At the mall Ivan lives in a cage or as Ivan likes to call it, a “domain”. Theme: I think the theme of the book is about keeping promises and to follow your dreams. Ivan made a promise to Stella and that was to let Ruby go free with other elephants. Since Ivan was a good friend of Stella he never forgot the promise he made her right before she passed away. Ivan also dreamed about being that silver back he was supposed to be and he followed his dreams and kept his promise to Stella at the same time. I found this novel very emotionally satisfying because it was very descriptive with all the emotions that the characters were feeling and that was transmitted to the readers. I also like how detailed the author was about the setting and the characters, it made me feel a part of the book as well.

Do You like book The One And Only Ivan (2012)?

Well written, adorable, genuinely funny, didn't talk down to kids, and heartbreaking. Such a treat.

I read this at the urging of my 8 year old nephew, and I'm so glad I did! What a wonderful story!

A wonderful sweet story. I fell in love with a silverback.


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