Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Review of 'The One And Only Ivan' by Katherine Applegate

Book Title: The One and Only Ivan
Author: Katherine Applegate
Published By: Harper Collins Children
Recommended Age: 8+
Reviewed By: Lee-Ann Graff-Vinson
Blog Reviewed For: Great Minds Think Aloud
Rating: 5
   Ivan used to live in the wild. He used to have a sister and parents. He used to be free. The day the humans arrived was the day he lost it all. Ivan, the gorilla was to become the main attraction at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade - Home of the One and Only Ivan, Mighty Silverback.
   Don’t be sad for him though. He wasn’t alone. There was his friend Stella, the circus elephant who could no longer perform quality acts due to her injured foot. There was also Bob, the wild dog who found his way to the Big Top Mall when his owners shoved him and his brothers and sisters from a moving truck onto the freeway when they were just a few weeks old. Together, they forged a makeshift family. Together, they while away the days in their domain.
   Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Mack, their fearless owner, is no longer making money off the aging, performing beasts. He is angry and desperate. Ivan does his best to make the people come visit the Big Top again, but no one is interested in a sad-looking gorilla. One day Ruby, a baby elephant, is brought in. Mack seems happy once again, but Stella, who is very sick, tells Ivan the domain is no place for Ruby. She makes Ivan promise that if anything happens to her, he will find a way to save Ruby. Ivan knows this promise is one he cannot keep – or can he?
   Author, Katherine Applegate has brought triumph to the animal kingdom with this true tale of Ivan, a captive silverback gorilla. The beauty and heart with which Ivan tells his story will have you in tears. I could not put this book down until I read every page. Ivan’s plight and journey is so moving, you will find it hard not to scream at the injustice written across its pages. Yet, Ivan tells his tale with a calm and almost forgiving nature. You can only applaud his resilience and strength to hold true to what was destined as his path in life. If you have children and are an animal lover, you need to buy this book.

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