THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate
Best of 2012
Kirkus Star

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

How Ivan confronts his harrowing past yet stays true to his nature exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage.

Living in a "domain" of glass, metal and cement at the Big Top Mall, Ivan sometimes forgets whether to act like a gorilla or a human—except Ivan does not think much of humans. He describes their behavior as frantic, whereas he is a peaceful artist. Fittingly, Ivan narrates his tale in short, image-rich sentences and acute, sometimes humorous, observations that are all the more heartbreaking for their simple delivery. His sorrow is palpable, but he stoically endures the cruelty of humans until Ruby the baby elephant is abused. In a pivotal scene, Ivan finally admits his domain is a cage, and rather than let Ruby live and die in grim circumstances, he promises to save her. In order to express his plea in a painting, Ivan must bravely face buried memories of the lush jungle, his family and their brutal murder, which is recounted in a brief, powerful chapter sure to arouse readers’ passions. In a compelling ending, the more challenging question Applegate poses is whether or not Ivan will remember what it was like to be a gorilla. Spot art captures poignant moments throughout.

Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new generation of advocates. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 17th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-199225-4
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2011




NEW & NOTABLE BOOKS FOR CHILDREN: JANUARY 2012:

Children THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate
by Katherine Applegate
Children EAST DRAGON, WEST DRAGON by Robyn Eversole
by Robyn Eversole
Children ANOTHER BROTHER by Matthew Cordell
by Matthew Cordell

OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for FLASH BOYS
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for A NICE LITTLE PLACE ON THE NORTH SIDE
VERDICT:
SKIP IT
Cover art for CAVENDON HALL
VERDICT:
SKIP IT
Cover art for THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH!
VERDICT:
BUY IT

MORE BY KATHERINE APPLEGATE

ChildrenEVE & ADAM by Michael Grant
by Michael Grant
ChildrenTHE BUFFALO STORM by Katherine Applegate
by Katherine Applegate
ChildrenHOME OF THE BRAVE by Katherine Applegate
by Katherine Applegate

MORE BY PATRICIA CASTELAO

ChildrenMERMAIDS IN THE BACKYARD by Catherine Hapka
by Catherine Hapka
ChildrenTHE HUNGRY GHOST OF RUE ORLEANS by Mary Quattlebaum
by Mary Quattlebaum

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

IndieThe Goodwill Vultures Club by Hugh Willard
by Hugh Willard
ChildrenTHE WARM PLACE by Nancy Farmer
by Nancy Farmer
ChildrenA DOG’S LIFE by Ann M. Martin
by Ann M. Martin