The One and Only Ivan

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Jan 17, 2012 - Juvenile Fiction - 305 pages
2098 Reviews

Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.

Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.

Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.

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5 stars
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4 stars
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3 stars
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Lovely writing, lovely illustrations. - Goodreads
This would be too hard to read for my 7-yr-old. - Goodreads
Wonderful story and prose. - Goodreads
Nice writing style, and enjoyed the illustrations. - Goodreads
... sad, very sad, in spite of the happy ending... - Goodreads
This book has a wonderful and inspiring plot. - Goodreads

Review: The One and Only Ivan

User Review  - Jamie - Goodreads

I'm a sucker for animal stories, and knowing that Ivan was a real gorilla at my local zoo, I had to read this fictionalized account of his life. My 13yo and I both enjoyed it. Beautiful story. Read full review

Review: The One and Only Ivan

User Review  - Kelly Dorris - Goodreads

New read aloud??? Love it. Read full review

About the author (2012)

Katherine Applegate’s many books include the Roscoe Riley Rules chapter book series, the picture book The Buffalo Storm, and the award-winning novel Home of the Brave. With her husband, Michael Grant, she wrote the hugely popular series Animorphs, which has sold more than 35 million copies worldwide.

Katherine was inspired to write The One and Only Ivan after reading about the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, the Shopping Mall Gorilla. The real Ivan lived alone in a tiny cage for twenty-seven years at a shopping mall before being moved to Zoo Atlanta after a public outcry. He is now a beloved celebrity at the zoo, which houses the nation’s largest collection of western lowland gorillas. Ivan is well known for his paintings, which he “signs” with a thumb-print.

Katherine lives in California with her husband and two children.

Katherine Applegate's many books include the Roscoe Riley Rules chapter book series, the picture book "The Buffalo Storm", and the award-winning novel "Home of the Brave". With her husband, Michael Grant, she wrote the hugely popular series Animorphs, which has sold more than 35 million copies worldwide.

Katherine was inspired to write "The One and Only Ivan" after reading about the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, the Shopping Mall Gorilla. The real Ivan lived alone in a tiny cage for twenty-seven years at a shopping mall before being moved to Zoo Atlanta after a public outcry. He is now a beloved celebrity at the zoo, which houses the nation's largest collection of western lowland gorillas. Ivan is well known for his paintings, which he "signs" with a thumb-print.

Katherine lives in California with her husband and two children.

Bibliographic information