Book Review: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

ivanBook Review: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Ivan lives in a mall.

Ivan is a gorilla who loves to paint.

Ivan has friends (a dog, an elephant, the janitor’s daughter) but he feels alone.

Many of you will have read this book already because it is a Newberry winner, but I just hadn’t had the chance to get to it yet. Sometimes the Newberry books disappoint me, but this one is great! This novel is verse is based on a true story of a gorilla that lived in captivity until finally being taken over by a local zoo. Touching and hauntingly true, this book did a great job of making me reflect on what it really means to be human.


“Humans waste words. They toss them like banana peels and leave them to rot. Everyone knows the peels are the best part.” ~Ivan on words

“I’ve never asked for a promise before, because promises are forever, and forever is an unusually long time. Especially when you’re in a cage.” ~Stella when asking Ivan to grant her a special promise

Recommended Grade: 5-10th
Genre: Novels in Verse
Overall Opinion: Recommend
Source: Book

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