Friday, February 08, 2013


A review by Theresa from the Children's Room: 

“I am Ivan. I am a gorilla. It’s not as easy as it looks.” So begins Katherine Applegate’s THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN this year’s winner of the Newbery Medal for excellence in children’s literature. Ivan has been the main attraction at the Exit 8 for 27 years. For the most part he has been comfortable with his TV, friends Stella the elephant, Bob the dog and his human friend Julia the child of one of the janitors at the mall. Life in a cage is his reality as freedom and the lush green of the jungle are simply dusty memories. His days spent with friends and painting his pictures is not so bad. But all that changes when a new baby elephant, Ruby, joins the troop and his friend Stella gets sick, causing him to realize what prisons their cages are. Wanting to help Ruby avoid Stella’s fate, Ivan promises to save her in this story inspired by that of a gorilla in similar circumstances who was ultimately adopted by Zoo Atlanta. 

A lovely though bittersweet tale of friendship and loyalty that is good for readers in grades 5-8.

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