The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan

Book - 2012
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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 : Harper, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061992254
Branch Call Number: J F APP
Characteristics: 305 p. ; 21 cm


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ArapahoeMarcia Nov 28, 2018

A heartfelt story of the lives of animals held in captivity and their efforts change their fate.

Great book! Written by one of my favourite authors, it would appeal to children AND adults. Chapters are short, as Ivan, the caged gorilla living in a highway-exit-arcade-tourist-attraction, makes observations about his world. Ivan is a gorilla of few words but he is quite profound and indeed comical. Children will read this story because of the book’s setting, but adults will enjoy the deeper levels. The author has given voice to a true story of a
gorilla in captivity that eventually is given a new life in a wildlife zoo. Well written! And also available as an ebook. (submitted by SMC)

Aug 28, 2018

The One and Only Ivan is based on a touching true story about a gorilla who lived in a domain at a circus shopping mall. In the book, Ivan the gorilla meets Ruby, a curious and talkative baby elephant who has been added to the circus. After years of confinement, the experience of loss and sorrow, Ivan is determined to save Ruby's life. In saying this, The One and Only Ivan is a true work of art that not only has an amazing story behind it, but was also written very precisely and beautifully. It was like reading straight from a real gorilla's perspective, simple yet intricate. I felt as though I was reading a series of poems: emotional and sort of relatable although coming from a gorilla's perspective. Additionally, The One and Only Ivan is a children's literature but may be enjoyed by a variety of readers. This story may not interest everyone as it is a realistic-fiction story with not much action involved. To summarize, The One and Only Ivan is an excellent children/tween read that also has deep meaning. Rate 4.5/5 @ReadingIceCream of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Aug 24, 2018

This book is very inspiring, and also gives off a good vibe. I recommend children to read and enjoy this book.

Aug 22, 2018

Are you a fan of this book? Well guess what (I'm going to explode!) they are having a movie! And Angelina Jollie is playing Stella!!!!!!

Jul 04, 2018

This book is just plain great! It is mainly based for children ages 8-11. It includes lots of detail and poetic scenes, which can also be a great source to help you improve your own writing!
(For example, you get inspired by something and try to recreate it in your signature way!)

Jun 24, 2018

I love this book! Its so good! I love the characters they're so funny. The one and only ivan is one
of my favorite books.

Jun 09, 2018

It’s a great book ,and the best!

LPL_LindaC May 29, 2018

One of my all time favorite books and winner of the coveted Newbery Medal for excellence in children's literature, awarded in 2013. Based on a true story of a gorilla caged in a shopping mall for 27 years, readers will fall in love with Ivan and his friends. I highly recommend the non-fiction companion book, "Ivan The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla", also written by Katherine Applegate.

Apr 11, 2018

Awesome book. Ivan is funny, helpful, and considerate! I love him and everyone else!

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Add Age Suitability

May 19, 2018

Number1HorseLover thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

May 18, 2018

blacktealatte thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

May 06, 2018

Hiny thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

Mar 10, 2018

red_cat_9776 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 7 and 12

Feb 12, 2018

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

Jul 26, 2017

PerfectPotato thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Nov 28, 2016

erica100 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Aug 15, 2016

Aqua1633 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Jul 18, 2016

LifeLoverSam thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Mar 07, 2016

black_cat_3047 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 11

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Add a Quote

May 19, 2018

She's far away, belly deep in tall grass with others by her side.
"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.

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.

Nov 28, 2016

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

Aug 15, 2016

"But here, I had no one to protect"

Aug 15, 2016

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

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

Jul 13, 2016

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

Aug 15, 2015

"I nap when I can."

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."

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

In my new life as a human, I was well tended. I ate lettuce leaves with Thousand Island dressing, and caramel apples, and popcorn with butter. My belly ballooned.

But hunger, like food, comes in many shapes and colors. At night, lying alone in my Pooh pajamas, I felt hungry for the skilled touch of a grooming friend, for the cheerful grunts of a play fight, for the easy safety of my nearby troop, foraging through shadows. . . .

Sometimes I lay awake, wishing for the warmth of another just like me, asleep in a night nest of tender prayer-plant leaves.

I liked having sips of soda poured into my mouth like a bubbling waterfall. But every now and then, I longed to search for a tender stalk of arrowroot, to feel the tease of a mango, just out of reach.

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Add a Summary

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.

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.

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.


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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