“The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate

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January 14, 2014 by dangemeinhart

One and Only IvanAR: 3.6

Lexile: 570

Pages: 300 (but not a lot of words per page…this is more like a 150 page book)

Genres: Animal, Friendship, Sad, Newbery Medal

Oh, reader.  Imagine: you are a gorilla.  A sensitive, smart and loyal gorilla who has been kept in a small cage in a mall for almost thirty years.  No outside, no room, no other gorillas.  And then someone new joins you: a scared, sad baby elephant.  And you know – you just know – that you have to do whatever it takes to save her from a life like yours, stuck in a cage.

In The One and Only Ivan, author Katherine Applegate has written a story that will break your heart and lift your spirits and maybe just change the way you see the world.  The story is told to us by Ivan himself – and Ivan is a character that I promise you won’t forget any time soon.  I read this book – the whole 300 pages – in two sittings.  I couldn’t get enough of Ivan’s voice, or the story he was telling.

Cages!  Guns!  Yogurt-covered raisins!  Finger paint!  Forever friendship!

Besides being a sad and sweet and super story, The One and Only Ivan is also actually based on a true one!  There was a real Ivan, whose story was very similar to what happens in this beautiful book!  So your heartbreak, your hope, your joy and tears as you read this wonderful story can all be true, too.  There is just no doubt that The One and Only Ivan is a bestest book.

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