The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I don't often give books five stars... in fact I almost NEVER do. So how I feel about his book and how well it was written should go without saying... nevertheless I will review it for you.
AWESOME. In a word. Truly, it was simply lovely.
This book had very sparse writing like in another favorite of mine The Trumpet of the Swan because it was written from the perspective of an animal. In the sparsness of the lanuage was a humor and a beauty that could rival any long-winded soliloquy. Simple and beautiful... witty and sweet.
Ivan is a gorilla who lives in a "circus" mall with some other animal friends. One day a baby elephant is brought to the "circus" to revive ticket sales. The baby elephant and subsequent death of a friend force Ivan to face the reality of the conditions of his captivity. A death-bed promise also prompts action.
This book adresses animal cruelty but also the other side of things -- humans who love animals and try to protect them. It shows good an evil in a simple, non-agressive way.
This book is a must-read for parents and children alike -- adults, teens, and children. It would be the kind of book one could read with their children and have some sweet experiences through connecting with the characters. It's also the kind of book that touches on enough emotional topics and therefore would hold the attention and the heart of a reader of any age.
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