Winner of the Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller!

This stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendships. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point-of-view of Ivan himself.

Having spent 27 years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

The One and Only Ivan was hailed as a best book of the year by Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Amazon, demonstrating it is a true classic in the making. In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan's unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope. An author's note depicts the differences between the fictional story and true events.

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published on January 17, 2012 by HarperCollins
ISBN-10: 0061992259
ISBN-13: 9780061992254
261 Book Reviews
to use your custom avatar.
  • nonstopreader
    nonstopreaderMonday, July 24, 2017 at 1:39 pm55 stars
    My book club read this book and it was very touching. I recommend this book to anyone. The book club is 4th- 6th grade so anyone can read it. It is well worth the time it takes to read.
    • kgautam
      kgautamMonday, July 17, 2017 at 1:42 pm44 stars
      Meet Ivan: a gorrrila at a mall. he is an artist who sees the through different perspectives.I love how Ivan is his own character and has his own personality. This is a story aboutlove, frendship, and mainly, HOPE.
      • snowyowl
        snowyowlSaturday, July 8, 2017 at 3:56 pm
        great book
        • e06
          e06Friday, July 7, 2017 at 8:04 pm55 stars
          I really enjoyed reading this book. I think it was nice that they proved that this IS the reality of most zoos. Animals at zoos AND circuses. Beaten up. Whipped. plain TORTURE. The thing that I especally like was how Kathrine Applegate made a book with a topic that no author could have even thought about. I thing that everyone should have a chance to read this book. If you are ever near a Library or Bookstore. Go get it.
          • egghead44
            egghead44Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 2:51 pm55 stars
            This book was so beautiful! The friendships shown in this book were amazing!
            • belle252
              belle252Saturday, July 1, 2017 at 3:07 pm55 stars
              This is a heart touching book. I can really feel that i am there in the book and admiring all the amazing things going on. everyone must read this book it amazing.
              • avatar1
                avatar1Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at 7:15 pm55 stars
                I loved how Ivan looked tough, but inside he was caring and thoughtful. Also, I enjoyed reading about his interest in art and capturing colors. This book has inspired me about art.
                • mariner
                  marinerSunday, June 25, 2017 at 7:14 pm44 stars
                  This story was told by Ivan, the gorilla, who lived all his life in a shopping mall. He watched tv and had a few friends. One day Ruby, a little elephant, came to the mall and told him all about what life was like in the real world and Ivan got to think about his friends in a different way. This was a very good book to think about what life is like for an animal in a cage getting looked at everyday by humans.
                  • looneylovegood1
                    looneylovegood1Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 1:21 pm55 stars
                    Even though the chapters are short, they pack a punch. This book is filled with humor but deals with a serious issue. Ivan is a gorilla that is kept in a mall. He has two friends, Stella the elderly elephant and Bob the stray dog. When Stella passes away, Ivan promises to make sure Ruby, a baby elephant that is brought to the mall, those not get treated like the other circus animals. I highly recommend this book to those who like humor.
                    • levi0sa
                      levi0saThursday, June 22, 2017 at 1:13 pm44 stars
                      It was strange reading this at first since it is from the gorillas point of view. It took me a little while to get used to this. But once I did I really loved it. If you're an animal lover you should read this book.

                      Summer Reading 2017 ends in:

                      May 26 - September 15, 2017
                      Terms and Conditions

                      Summer Reading 2017 Stats

                      Books being read:2890
                      Books reviewed:917
                      Lip Moisturizer won:121
                      Belle's Library won:81
                      Blu-ray Combo Pack won:44
                      Schools participating:99
                      Libraries participating:1

                      Members (495)

                      Top Summer Readers

                      annette
                      rrwwnn
                      callie_b
                      snicker9
                      strawberry1234
                      addglitter
                      dictionary
                      5680saf
                      belle252
                      llpanda