Ivan, a silverback gorilla, has lived behind glass walls at the derelict Big Top Mall and Video Arcade for 27 years. Alone except for a handful of friends, Ivan turns to art— crayons and finger paint accidentally acquired—to travel beyond his cage. But when a baby elephant arrives, newly captured from the wild, Ivan realizes that his domain is pinched beyond endurance. Thus begins a desperate, valiant quest for freedom. The One and Only Ivan is a hero’s tale of escape and self- discovery that will inspire readers to rethink human kinship to animals and the reality of whatever domains, or cages, we unthinkingly inhabit. It will break your heart, but it’s wonderful.— Eileen
“Ivan, a gorilla, has spent most of his life with humans and the other animals at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. His memory of life before humans and cages is hazy, until a terrified young elephant joins him and he starts to remember the importance of family and belonging. A wonderful read, full of heart.”
— Lisa Fabiano, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA
The #1 New York Times bestselling and Newbery Award-winning novel The One and Only Ivan is now a major motion picture streaming on Disney+
This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.
Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.
In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create an unforgettable story of friendship, art, and hope.
The One and Only Ivan features first-person narrative; author's use of literary devices (personification, imagery); and story elements (plot, character development, perspective).
This acclaimed middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 8, for independent reading, homeschooling, and sharing in the classroom.
Plus don't miss The One and Only Bob, Katherine Applegate's return to the world of Ivan, Bob, and Ruby!
Katherine Applegate is the Newbery Medal-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous books for young readers, including The One and Only Ivan, The One and Only Bob, Crenshaw, Wishtree, the Roscoe Riley Rules chapter books series, and the Animorphs series. She lives with her husband, who writes as the author Michael Grant, and their children in California.
★ “Will capture readers’ hearts and never let go. A must have.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
★ “Animal-loving youngsters and their adults will find plenty of food for thought in Ivan’s extraordinary story.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
★ “Exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Discover an animal hero that will take his place with other courageous and beloved animals such as Babe, Mrs. Frisby, Charlotte and Wilbur. Adults reading this aloud with children will find it just as rewarding.” — Shelf Awareness
“Important.” — The Horn Book
“The One and Only Ivan will break your heart—and then, against all odds, mend it again. In cheering for Ivan and his friends, we cheer for our own humanity and our own possibilities. Read this.” — Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery Honor author of The Wednesday Wars
“A beautifully written, intelligent and brave book. You will never look at the relationship of humans and animals in the same way again. Quite simply, this story is life changing.” — Patricia MacLachlan, Newbery Medal-winning author of Sarah, Plain and Tall
“Katherine Applegate’s beautiful, life-affirming story will soar directly from Ivan’s heart into your own. Read it out loud. Read it alone. Read it.” — Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor author of The Underneath