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  • Published: New York : Harper, 2012.
  • Year Published: 2012
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: 305 p. ; 21 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9780061992254


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The one and only Ivan

by Applegate, Katherine.

There is currently 1 available

Where To Find It

Call number: Y Fiction / Applegate, Katherine, R Newbery Medal 2013

Available Copies: Downtown Youth

Additional Details

When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.

Community Reviews

Heart touching Story

I read this book and I got sad it tells the truth how animals in cages/domains feel. I really recommend you this book. It is about a Gorilla. It's a great book!

Humanity in animals

Thank goodness that this had a relatively "happy" ending because the theme of the book was quite disquieting. How can we consider ourselves humane when we are willing to lock up animals for a quarter century in a small room. The interactions with the young girl and the unveiling that Ivan could communicate were positive and ultimately led to as good an ending as was possible. While written for children, the mirror that it holds up resonates with adults as well.

Sweet Tale

Sweet tale of companionship in a poetic-like writing- quick read


This book is amazing, but is a little sad at the end.


Its an easy reader about a gorilla being kept at a mall. A very meaningful plot about animal cruelty.


looks like a good book

good chapter book

I liked this book, but I didn't love it like other folks did. It's a simple tale. But a unique one, and I think young animal lovers will enjoy the story of Ivan.

Touching and well-written

The format that the author uses -- breaking the story up into one-to-three-page bits, gives the book an extra thoughtfulness and gives readers a bit more time to pause and reflect. Although the book certainly has its sad parts, overall it is hopeful. I'd recommend it to 4th or 5th graders and up (including adults who are interested in well-written books for children).

The book would be good for animal lovers (since the main characters are animals), but the story could also give parents and kids a good starting point to talk about empathy, relationships, and many other very human things that are important but sometimes hard to discuss.

2013 Newbery contender

I didn't sob uncontrollably (like everyone else). Does that make me dead inside? Not that I'm saying I want to sob uncontrollably...

It's early yet, but this is a strong 2013 Newbery contender.

Strong parallels to Charlotte's Web (Is Ivan a loving tribute?): pesky but lovable scavenger character, complacent protagonist who gradually becomes aware of the injustice of his situation, highlights cruelty of humans, precocious young girl forms a bond with and protects animal characters.


this book was such a good book. it had its sad and happy parts, but i would recommend it still. this book can be complicated for younger kids, but middle-schoolers and older elementary students would all love this book, especially animal lovers.

Great book

This is a good book is you like to read alot,
it takes you on a great adventure through hard and happy times!

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