The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan

Book - 2014
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When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2014
Edition: First paperback edition
Copyright Date: ♭2012
ISBN: 9780061992278
0061992275
Branch Call Number: J AP Newbery
Characteristics: 319 pages, 6 unnumbered pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Castelao, Patricia - Illustrator

Opinion

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Edwamau May 10, 2020

This was a wonderful story. I listened to it and the narrator did a very good job. You could picture Ivan sounding like this if he could talk to you. The stories focus is on Ivan, the gorilla, trying to save a baby elephant from the life of living in a shopping mall zoo. It is based on a true... Read More »


From the critics


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JCLBrittanyC Jun 16, 2021

An excellent pick for any young reader! I think kids can learn through the feelings and emotions of these animals without feeling totally overwhelmed. Julia sets a wonderful example of how to make a change when you feel things aren't right. One and Only Ivan also would be a wonderful jumping off point for families to discuss some tougher issues. Honestly, everyone can learn something from Ivan and his friends, so be sure not to pass this one up!

d
duke5976
Jun 14, 2021

the one and only Ivan is such a good book, I checked it out so many times, and loved it more every time. you have serriously got to read it, right now, today!!!!!. thank you.

b
BeckyR21
Feb 07, 2021

Superb! What a great children's novel. A touching story of friendship and hope. A poignant ending. Looking forward to watching the movie!

VaughanPLDonnalee Nov 15, 2020

A deceptively simple book for children that ends up being quite haunting and poignant. Based on a true story, about a gorilla named Ivan who lives for many years at a circus-themed mall. The story is easy to read, and has a lot of humour, but it is a very thoughtful and emotional story. It gives young readers a chance to ponder questions about the quality of life, about freedom and about the role of humans in our world. A really lovely, beautifully written book for all ages. Highly recommended.

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_sanahi_
Sep 11, 2020

Ivan is a wild gorilla that was sold into the circus industry at a young age. He lives in a shopping mall circus, and is popularly known for his "angry and violent" act in which he roars and beats his chest as a thrill for the audience. When given a box of crayons and paint, the circus leader finds that Ivan has extraordinary artistic abilities for an animal. Life seemed to be going well for Ivan with his new artistic act; however, when new baby elephant Ruby joined the circus, he and his friends Bob the stray dog, Stella the elephant, and Julia the maintenance man's daughter to protect Ruby from the abuse of circus owner Mack and to send her to the safety of the zoo.

I really enjoyed the story of Ivan's journey, it was surprisingly emotional and leaves a good feeling in the reader. I love the uniqueness of the characters in the story as well as the stylistic narration, told through the point of view of Ivan. Though the sentence structure is short and staccato and the diction is straight forward, "I am Ivan. I am a gorilla. It's not as easy as it looks." (Chapter 1), the author Katherine Applegate uses this simple structure to build a relationship between the reader and Ivan and his friends. Although this is marked as a children's book, I think everyone should take the time to read this heartwarming story.

i
iloveseaotters
Sep 04, 2020
This content contains spoilers and is hidden.
d
DracAthos
Jun 24, 2020

This was a heartbreaking but unbelievably sweet tale of a gorilla who tries his best to help those around him, especially Ruby.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves animals.
It's a good easy book for those who are reluctant readers as the chapters and paragraphs are short.

I cannot wait for the sequel. The One and Only Bob.

ArapahoeStaff26 Jun 04, 2020

Ivan is a sweet, complex character who will win your heart!

Edwamau May 10, 2020

This was a wonderful story. I listened to it and the narrator did a very good job. You could picture Ivan sounding like this if he could talk to you. The stories focus is on Ivan, the gorilla, trying to save a baby elephant from the life of living in a shopping mall zoo. It is based on a true story and would be a good read for Grade 3 to adult.

e
EljayJohnson
Apr 26, 2020

A sad but ultimately uplifting story about Ivan, a lonely silverback gorilla, and his animal friends at a decrepit shopping mall sideshow. Beautifully written, tender, and lovely.

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Age

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n
navy_fox_409
Dec 11, 2020

navy_fox_409 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

_
_sanahi_
Sep 11, 2020

_sanahi_ thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

m
manreetd
Jul 19, 2020

manreetd thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

indigo_elephant_500 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 99

n
Number1HorseLover
May 19, 2018

Number1HorseLover thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

b
blacktealatte
May 18, 2018

blacktealatte thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

h
Hiny
May 06, 2018

Hiny thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

n
navy_moose_59
Mar 10, 2018

navy_moose_59 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 7 and 12

d
daisy0001
Feb 12, 2018

daisy0001 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 15

e
erica100
Nov 28, 2016

erica100 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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Quotes

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b
BeckyR21
Feb 15, 2021

"Calm down," says a voice. "You're behaving like a chimp."

n
Number1HorseLover
May 19, 2018

She's far away, belly deep in tall grass with others by her side.
Ruby.
"She's here, Stella," I whisper. " RUby's safe. Just like I promised."
I call to Ruby but the wind tugs at my words and I know she'll never hear me.
Still Ruby pauses for a second, her ears spread wide like tiny sails.
Then, with lumbering grace, she moves on through the grass.

n
Number1HorseLover
May 19, 2018

I miss my old cage.

I miss my art.

But most of all, I miss Bob.

My belly's cold without him.

e
erica100
Nov 28, 2016

"Hello, I am Ivan. I am a gorilla. It's not as easy as it looks."

a
Aqua1633
Aug 15, 2016

"But here, I had no one to protect"

a
Aqua1633
Aug 15, 2016

"And it's not a domain," I add.

I pause, and then I say it. "It's a cage"

n
narutouzumaki_1
Jul 13, 2016

"My name is Ivan"
"I live in a glass box"

r
red_elephant_1022
Aug 15, 2015

"I nap when I can."

m
mapleleave
May 05, 2015

"I gaze at the huge, shadowy box, and suddenly I understand how Ruby feels. I don't want to go into that box.

The last time I was in a box, my sister died."

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

Bob, who has been chewing his tail, pauses, tilting his head. "Is that a true story?"

"I always tell the truth," Stella replies. "Although I sometimes confuse the facts."

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Summary

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d
Duc_D
Jun 10, 2015

"The One and Only Ivan" is a novel by Katherine Applegate. Ivan is a silverback gorilla who lives in a stationary circus. Ivan is good friends with the other animals in the circus, especially Stella the elephant and Bob, a stray dog. When Stella dies, Ivan makes a promise to save her young friend, Ruby, from a life of captivity. It takes some time, but Ivan and Ruby are eventually moved to a zoo. "The One and Only Ivan" is a book of great courage and hope.

j
joycemas
Jul 25, 2014

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.

j
jkherm
Jul 07, 2013

This book is told from the point of view of the gorilla Ivan. Ivan is treated as a means for income and certainly not a respected animal of God's creation. Applegate's story tells of Ivan's friendships with the other animals in this shopping mall mini-circus.

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Mar 07, 2012

Basically what we have here is Charlotte’s Web if you took that tiny spider and replaced her with a 300-pound gorilla. Which, to be frank, would normally bode badly for said gorilla. And certainly badly is how Ivan, the titular hero of this tale, bodes when you consider that he is trapped in an off-highway mall circus. Ivan’s never questioned his fate seriously, considering that he’s been there for twenty-seven years. Then one day Mack, the owner of the mall, decides that the only way to drum up more business will be to buy a new resident. There’s already Ivan and Stella, the elephant with an injured foot that doesn’t seem to be getting better. To this mix comes Ruby, a baby elephant not long captured from her home in the wild. Thanks to Ruby, Ivan sees that this is no place for a baby of any sort and he must use all his brains and intelligence to find a way to save not just her but himself as well.

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