Title: The One and Only Ivan
Author: Katherine Applegate
Pub Date: 1/17/2012
Top 25: Yes
Convince us to read the book: The inside cover of this book says it's for ages 8 to 12, but don't be fooled. This is a book that absolutely everyone can get something out of. The simplistic storytelling and sparse wording were powerful, but also make it easy to comprehend. A younger reader would easily follow and appreciate the story, while an older one can see and relate to the characters. Ivan is a gorilla who has lived most of his life in captivity. At first he thinks of himself as content, then as the story progresses he realizes he's complacent. The story ends in his taking action against his captors on behalf of someone else, becoming less self absorbed. That's a lot of character development for a gorilla. The illustrations throughout the book enhanced it, because art and artistry is a focus.
Memorable or Forgettable: Although Ivan and the others were humanized so the reader could relate to them, they never lost the essence of being animals. There are few animal books, especially talking animal books, that pull that off as well as this one did.
Cover: The cover was good, but not great. Having a cartoon style cover could turn off older readers. They're not trying to attract them, but I think they should.
Age Range: Under 12 and up
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 5P Everyone wants to read it