Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 2 - 5T3.626263

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
447 Book Reviews
  • IzzyFriday, March 12, 2021 at 7:40 pm
    it is so sad at the ending.
    • luvisintr
      luvisintrThursday, March 11, 2021 at 10:44 am55 stars
      This has been on my "Favorite Book List" for a long time! I love Stella, and the story was amazing!
      • bail3y
        bail3yThursday, March 11, 2021 at 7:50 am44 starsFeatured
        Ivan is a mighty and angry silverback gorilla. A wild one. One to be feared. Or at least that's what the poster says. Ivan is quite the opposite. He is a peaceful and ignorant fellow with three friends by his side. Stella the elephant, Bob the stray, and Ruby the human. Ivan is quite content with his life. He's been living at a mall for 27 years. He used to live in the wild but he was captured by hunters who sold him to Mack, who kept him as a pet until he became too big. I love this book but I think that if I write anymore my review will get too long. Happy reading folks.
        • bookfan123
          bookfan123Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 10:18 pm55 stars
          The One and Only Ivan, Mighty Silverback of Exit 8 Big Top Mall, is trapped in a small cage where he performs. The amazing story is told in Ivan's perspective, a story of how he shaped his own life. He used to be a free silverback in a wide forest, until he got captured by humans. Ivan never really thought about his life in the wilderness when he's in the zoo, but his best friend dying and a new elephant in the zoo changed his thoughts about the whole incident, and Ivan's eyes open. But when the time comes, will he be willing to risk a whole comfy biosphere to a new world? But the biggest question remains- how? A compelling plot, enthralling sequence of events, and an animal's perspective make The One and Only Ivan deservant to get the John Newberry Medal award.
          • bsc
            bscSaturday, March 6, 2021 at 9:33 am55 starsFeatured
            Winning the John Newbery Medal and based on a true story, animal lovers and everyone should read this truly incredible book. Ivan is a silverback gorilla living in captivity at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. There he's known as the “Mighty Silverback”. He’s said to be roaring and angry. But that’s not true. Ivan is as calm and peaceful as a still lake. Ivan used to live in the free wilderness, but after being captured, Ivan is now used to entertain kids and visitors who come to see the mighty silverback. But when a new baby elephant, Ruby, comes and a promise is made, Ivan’s eyes are finally opened. He needs to get himself and Ruby to a better, safer, and kinder place to have the life they deserve. Paintings, kindness, and humor makes The One and Only Ivan an amazing book for all ages.
            • iamrobot
              iamrobotThursday, March 4, 2021 at 4:20 pm55 stars
              The one and only Ivan is about a gorilla named Ivan. He lived in a mall and circus called the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. He has two friends: an elephant named Stella and a stray dog named Bob. One day, Ruby, a baby elephant comes to the mall. Ivan wants to give Ruby a good home, like a zoo. Find out what Ivan does when you read the book.I like this book because the character Ivan is interesting.
              • spider man Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 12:43 pm
                ha kids and ha super man
                • ema_montes_12
                  ema_montes_12Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 10:21 am
                  I feel like I would like this book bc other people like the book
                  • weworofy-160798470925
                    weworofy-160798470925Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 10:09 am55 stars
                    This story is sad but also happy Ivan had been through bad things. He has a few friends they are an elephant and a dog. But things get better in his life little by little.
                    • Luna Monday, February 8, 2021 at 3:46 am
                      Dis is the most perfect book in the world