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Librarian who loves everything about books. Generally read Young Adult.

The One and Only Ivan Book Review

The One and Only Ivan - Patricia Castelao, Katherine Applegate

The only reason I finally got around to reading this little gem of a book is because of my outreach for work. Boy, am I glad I did.


Ivan, a Silver-back gorilla has been forced to grow up with humans and live in a cage in the Motel 8 mall. His paintings sell for twenty dollars, twenty five with a frame. He befriends a young girl, Julia and an Elephant named Stella. He soon realizes his life isn't normal and that living in a cage is not what he wants.


The sentence structure is simple yet brilliant at the same time. A heartbreaking story of capture, love and friendship. The One and Only Ivan teaches us what its like to be caged and turned against your will.


This is a very quick read, taking me only a couple hours to breeze through. Each page is enjoyable. I laughed and I cried, Ivan's story is truly one for all ages.