Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Book Review: The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Ivan
By: Katherine Applegate
ISBN-10: 0061992259
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Ivan is a gorilla who was taken from his home in Africa when he was a baby. Now he lives in a rundown circus with his friend Stella, an elephant, and Bob, the stray dog who comes to visit them daily. One day there is a new animal addition to the circus, and Ivan’s lonely tradition of watching TV, drawing pictures, and performing for the tourists every day will change completely.

The One and Only Ivan is a middle grade novel that includes:

• Throwing balls of excrement at tourists (through a glass window)
• Animals trapped in cages
• References to families being killed and babies being captured
• A death
• Threatening an elephant with a hook
• Feeling lonely and unwanted
• Human characters use minor language like “what the heck” and “darn it”

Parents should be aware that this book is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. The characters are well developed, and the story is easy to read and flows from page to page.

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