Review: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan is the 2013 Newbery Medal Award Winner


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.


This is such a sweet story and a quick, enjoyable read. The story is told from Ivan’s perspective and his voice is engaging, witty and insightful. Katherine Applegate’s writing is so clean and a lovely demonstration of the power of simplicity.

Based on the life of a real gorilla, the story tugs at the heart strings. This book makes a fabulous read-aloud choice and will grab readers of any age. Animal lovers will especially love Ivan’s triumphant story.

Content note: CLEAN



Share notes: @TeriHarman, #amreading #MG


14 thoughts on “Review: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

  1. Glad to read your review. I have been excited to read this! I read all your reviews and now I have a bunch of books to read.

  2. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing
    several weeks of hard work due to no back up.
    Do you have any methods to protect against hackers?

  3. I tend not to leave a great deal of responses,
    however after reading a few of the responses on this page Review: The One and Only Ivan by
    Katherine Applegate | Teri Harman. I do have a few questions for
    you if it’s allright. Could it be just me or does it appear like some of the responses look like
    they are coming from brain dead individuals?
    😛 And, if you are posting at additional online social
    sites, I would like to follow everything fresh you have to post.
    Could you post a list of the complete urls of all your social community sites like your
    linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

  4. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of
    the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.

    I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both shiw the same results.

  5. Greetings from California! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the information you present here and can’t wait to take
    a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how quick your
    blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G ..

    Anyhow, excellent blog!

  6. This is really interesting,You’re a very skilled blogger.

    I have joinesd your feed and look forward to seeking more of your
    magnificent post. Also, I have shared you site in my social networks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s