June 21, 2013

The One and Only Ivan - by Katherine Applegate

What's so great about the great apes, anyway?  Reading this book, you'll figure it out.  Ivan is a gorilla, and this is his story.  You don't get to read many books told from a gorilla's perspective, so don't pass this one up.

It's a sad, but hopeful tale of Ivan and his animal friends, all part of a small curiosity zoo at a random interstate shopping center.  The author drops us right into the middle of the story, where we find plenty of struggle.  The zoo owner struggles to make ends meet, the animals struggle to keep their spirits up, the kind custodian struggles with his conscience as he sees things slipping downhill, but there will be no struggle for this book to hold your attention.  The chapters are very short, and we are truly transported into the mind of a gorilla, for better or worse.

This is a fantastic book, and I highly recommend it.  There's not much action, but plenty of drama.  If you love art, wild animals, friendly mutts, custodians' daughters, or stories that break your heart before they stitch them back together with magic, this is for you.

1 comment:

Momo said...

Just to let you know children in my library in Australia are loving Ivan too.