The One and Only Ivan

By Katherine Applegate

Published 2012

AR Level: 3.6

AR Points: 4.0

I suggest: good for just about any age!

This story will make you smile as quickly as it will bring you to tears. This novel with short chapters and illustrations throughout is already a timeless classic. I read it myself in an evening and completely fell in love with this very likable gorilla. I tried reading it aloud to my third and first grader and was so pleased with their response. They too fell in love with Ivan, and it was an easy story to divide into nightly readings. It has made my shelf of most treasured books. So either as a read-aloud, or an assessable book for readers second through probably 6th grade, you will not regret spending time with Ivan. This is a definite must read for adults as well.

Description from B&N:

Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.

Having spent 27 years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

Official book trailer:

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