The One and Only Ivan - Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Genre: J Nonfiction

Blurb (on back of book): Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living in a shopping mall, 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, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting.
Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home — and his own art — though new eyes. When Ruby arrives, changes come with her, and it's up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.


Many children (and even teens) have read this delightful story. But what readers may not know is that this is indeed a true story. It is told from the imaginary view of Ivan, but you may have heard of the news story. The link to it is here:

It is a different kind of nonfiction. This is such a wonderful tale, but she has imagined the character's perspectives. These are very real to life though, and most likely happened. I love Ivan's drawings. It is so inventive, and amazing that a gorilla could make such wonderful pieces of art for such a good cause.

This book is something that all readers will enjoy, even those of you who hate nonfiction. It is so interesting to read all about Ivan's tale and adventure.

I would recommend this book to elementary-schoolers, though some older readers will also enjoy reading this story.

Main Character: The One and Only Ivan, Mighty Silverback
Sidekick(s): Stella, Bob, Ruby, Julia, George, Mack
Nonfiction Elements: This has all happened in real life.