"Humans have more words than they need, but still they don't have a name for me." Ivan, a young/baby gorilla at the time, had this profound thought while he was growing up in a home with humans being treated almost like their baby.
Ivan is a very kind, smart, and loving gorilla who spent the majority of his life in less than ideal captivity settings.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate won the Newbery in 2013. The Newbery is basically the best children's/juvenile literature book, and this book deserved the win 100%. I honestly do not always feel that way about Newbery winners.
(Though, speaking of the Newbery, they did just announce the winners for 2016.)
This chapter book is absolutely fantastic. I give it 5 out of 5 Stars in my book review. It is a great read! I loved all of the characters, the storyline, and even the happy ending.
Overall, I was truly inspired by the message that we can do the impossible; even though, the impossible may take some help from loved ones we can still do it. I absolutely loved that Ivan did what he, and even I, thought was impossible. He did it; he saved those he loved, and he even saved himself.
I felt The One and Only Ivan was incredibly well written. There was depth, complexity, character development, humor, and a well paced story. It really is the complete package, and a book everyone can enjoy.
I do feel this chapter book would be great as a read aloud for a parent or teacher. You could read it aloud to as young as 2nd maybe 1st grade, but children in 3rd through 6th would love to read this independently as well as have it read to them. Boys and girls alike will enjoy this story, and animal lovers won't be able to read it fast enough.
Really, there was so much I loved about this book. I loved when Ivan was trying to romance a girl gorilla. I loved that Bob was with Julia. I loved that Ivan could see Ruby if he climbed high. I loved the author's note at the end of the story stating that Ivan was real and he really did live in a mall. I really loved this book, and I am glad I own it. It is a great book for any collection (library, classroom, and/or home).
Amazon has the following book description just to give you a better idea of the storyline:
"Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Timesbestseller, this stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. 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 twenty-seven 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.
In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte's Web andStuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create an unforgettable story of friendship, art, and hope. This paperback edition includes an author's note highlighting the differences between the fictional story and true events, a version of the author's Newbery Medal acceptance speech, Ivan's "signature," discussion questions, and more.
The One and Only Ivan is a strong Common Core title that features these important strands and standards: first-person narrative; author's use of literary devices (personification, imagery); story elements (plot, character development, perspective)."
Have you read this award winning novel? What did you think of it? If you haven't, go check it out as soon as you can!
Happy Inspiring, Loving, Fun, and Emotionally Grasping Reading of The One and Only Ivan!
For the movie lovers out there, there is a projected release date for sometime in 2016. We'll just have to cross our fingers for this book based movie to hit the big screens.