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The One and Only Ivan Paperback – January 6, 2015
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Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal
2012 Christopher Medal
Gold Medal in Juvenile LIterature, 2012 California Book Award
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators 2013 Crystal Kite Award Winner------------------------------------------------------------------
#1 New York Times bestseller
School Library Journal Best of Children's Books 2012
Kirkus Reviews Best of Children's Books 2012Amazon 2012 Best Books of the Year, Middle Grade
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best 2012
New York Public Library 100 Books for Reading and Sharing, 2012
Cybils shortlist, 2012 middle grade fantasy (Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards)
Texas Bluebonnet Award, 2013-14 Master List
2012 Nerdies Book Award, middle grade fictionStarred Review, Kirkus Reviews:
"How Ivan confronts his harrowing past yet stays true to his nature exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage.”
Starred Review, School Library Journal:
“The characters will capture readers’ hearts and never let go. A must-have.”
Starred Review, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books:
“The best book of 2012.”
--John Schumacher (Watch. Connect. Read. blogger and 2014 Newbery committee member) and Travis Jonker (School Library Journal blogger, 100 Scope Notes, and 2014 Caldecott committee member)
"Beautifully written, intelligent, and brave book…Quite simply, this story is life-changing.”
--Patricia MacLachlan, Newbery Medalist, Sarah, Plain and Tall
"The One and Only Ivan will break your heart--and then, against all odds, mend it again."
--Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery Honor author of The Wednesday Wars
"Kindness and its ability to change lives shines through on every single page of this book.”
--Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor author of The Underneath
From the Back Cover
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—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it's up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.
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A copy of the author’s Newbery Medal acceptance speech is at the back of my copy of The One and Only Ivan. In it, the author says,” We live in a world where children are bullied into despair and even suicide; where armed guards in a school hallway are considered desirable; where libraries are padlocked because of budget cuts; where breakfast and backpacks, for too many children are unaffordable luxuries.”
“What makes children better than the rest of us is that they are buoyant, unrepentant optimists.”
As a writer, reader, and lover of words, I make it a habit to ‘stop time’ whenever I come across sparkling phrases that deserve homage. A ‘stop time’ is where we stop whatever we are doing to read out loud and to listen; we listen to both the author’s words and to what made that phrase so meaningful to the reader.
Although my son and I read the same book, our reactions to it were as different as a carefree stroll through the park and being caught in a traffic snarl in the city at rush hour. Where my son delighted in the animal conversations, I sobbed.
Pixar uses humor with double meaning brilliantly in their storytelling. Katherine Applegate uses the same technique, but in a more realistic vein.
I sobbed because the adult world my son will live in doesn’t have easy answers. It isn’t colorful, silly, and happy all the time. The innocence of his childhood is beginning to seep away.
While Ivan and Ruby soothe each other and tell stories to help them sleep, the author communicates the ache of loneliness, coping skills, feeling boxed in, and the power that is found when helping a friend…or your own child.
The first ‘stop time’ that my son called happened when Ivan makes an impossible promise to Ruby, the baby elephant.
I’ve been waiting and watching for this moment. A maturity level that notices deeper concepts. An opportunity to share family ideals and values. An easing into the world of adulthood – or at least into the turbulent teens.
“Children know all about sadness,” comments Applegate in her speech. “We can’t hide it from them. We can only teach them how to cope with its inevitably and to harness their imaginations in search for joy and wonder.”
This book was written from the gorilla's (Ivan's) point of view. It is a bigger book, but don't be alarmed as there are not many words on a page as the formatting is not as tight as a traditional novel. But don't let that stop you either!
It is now my son's favorite book. Because of that, and what that means, I give it 5 stars.
In addition, I am a 5th grade teacher. In my school, we have daily Book Clubs. I have been reading The One and Only Ivan with my students for 3 years and their reactions are exactly like my daughter's. Katherine Applegate is an amazing author! I love how Ivan, the gorilla, is the narrator; this gives the reader a great inside look into his thoughts and feelings. You easily fall in love with each of the characters and build compassion for each one. I highly recommend this book for any elementary student!