The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate


The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Age Range: 8 and up

Hardcover: 320 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (January 17, 2012)

Series: None

Genre: Historical fiction

Source: Library

Rating: 5 of 5 stars

About the Book:

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.

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.

Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable
first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.

Amazon | Goodreads | B&N


School Library Journal Best of Children’s Books 2012

Kirkus Reviews Best of Children’s Books 2012

Amazon 2012 Best Books of the Year, Middle Grade

Chicago Public Library Best of the Best 2012

New York Public Library 100 Books for Reading and Sharing, 2012

Cybils shortlist, 2012 middle grade fantasy (Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards)

Texas Bluebonnet Award, 2013-14 Master List

2012 Nerdies Book Award, middle grade fiction



 Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews:
Ivan confronts his harrowing past yet stays true to his nature
exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage.”

Starred Review, School Library Journal: 
“The characters will capture readers’ hearts and never let go.  A must-have.”

Starred Review, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books: 

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

“The best book of 2012.” 
Schumacher (Watch. Connect. Read. blogger and 2014 Newbery committee
member) and Travis Jonker (School Library Journal  blogger, 100 Scope
Notes, and 2014 Caldecott committee member)

“Beautifully written, intelligent, and brave book…Quite simply, this story is life-changing.”
–Patricia MacLachlan, Newbery Medalist, Sarah, Plain and Tall

“The One and Only Ivan will break your heart–and then, against all odds, mend it again.”
–Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery Honor author of The Wednesday Wars

“Kindness and its ability to change lives shines through on every single page of this book.”
–Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor author of The Underneath

About the Author:

 Applegate was born in Michigan
in 1956. Since then she has lived in Texas, Florida, California,
Minnesota, Illinois, North Carolina, and after living in Pelago, Italy
for a year, she has moved back to Southern California. She has an eleven
year old son named Jake Mates, although she says the Animorph leader is
not named after him. In 2003 she and her husband, Michael Grant, her
co-author on many projects including Animorphs, adopted their daughter,
Julia, in China.[citation needed] Following the end of Animorphs,
Applegate took three years off. She is back at work and has written a
picture book called “The Buffalo Storm,” a middle reader novel called
“Home of the Brave,” and an early chapters series “Roscoe Riley Rules”
with Harper Collins. Her book “Home of the Brave” has won the SCBWI
Golden Kite Award, the Bank Street 2008 Josette Frank Award, and is a
Judy Lopez Memorial Award honor book.


My Thoughts:

Holy smokes did I ever love this book! It had such an emotional
connection for me.  It was a really quick read, so I finished it in one
short sitting. I can totally see why this book won so many awards last
year. It deserved them. It is a touching read that will stay with you
long after the last page is read. It’s a beautiful, beautiful story.
I loved getting to know Ivan and follow him as he searches for a way to keep the impossible promise he made to a friend.  His story was so touching, it had me sobbing as I cheered for him and his friends.  I still get choked up when I think about it.  Seriously, an amazing story.  Highly recommended!

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  • Reply
    Tressa S
    July 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    This book looks and sound fabulous! I will have to add it to my kids' wish list. I'd love to read it with them – at least as long as I don't get choked up reading it. 😉

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings

  • Reply
    Sara @ Forever 17 Books
    July 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    This look so cute! Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  • Reply
    Renee C.
    July 28, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I'm with you – great, great book! It's seldom that a book has the capacity to move me THAT much, but this book did. It's so heartwrenching, isn't it?

    • Reply
      July 29, 2013 at 1:00 am

      Yes! But my tears were all happy ones at the end. This is definitely a book that I am going to buy for my personal library.

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