The One and Only Ivan Book Review
By Gia Mesce and Bessie Chen
The One and Only Ivan is a bestselling novel written by Katherine Applegate, and illustrated by Patricia Castelao. This book takes you through the mind of a gorilla living in a cage at a mall.
The book is about a silverback gorilla named Ivan, who lives in the Big Top Mall. He doesn’t think much about his old life in the jungle. Ivan has gotten used to watching T.V. in his domain, and painting pictures for the gift shop. But when Ruby, a baby elephant, arrives at the mall, Ivan is reminded of his old home. He begins to remember life before The Big Top Mall, and what it was like to have freedom. Ivan feels the need to protect Ruby, and is determined to get Ruby to a zoo.
The One and Only Ivan was inspired by a true story, about a real gorilla named Ivan. The real Ivan spent 27 years of his life in a cage at a circus themed mall in Washington, much like the book. He was moved to Zoo Atlanta, where he lived with other gorillas. The real Ivan also painted, and was a big celebrity at the zoo. He died on August 2012.
I would definitely recommend this book to other readers because it is a humorous, bittersweet story told through the perspective of Ivan. Throughout the book, Katherine Applegate shows the importance of friendship and hope. I would give this book 4 and 1/2 stars because it is funny, touching, and a great book to read.