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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
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My Progress:


28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:


0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:


7 / 25 books. 28% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:


33 / 50 books. 66% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


35 / 52 books. 67% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


39 / 52 books. 75% done!
Monday, August 27, 2012

Poetic and Powerful, The One and Only Ivan Truly Is One-of-a-Kind

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

It's not easy being a silverback gorilla.  Especially one who's caged up at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade.  Just ask Ivan.  He's been the main attraction there for most of his 27 years.  The wild, he knows from experience, is a dangerous place and, yet, he longs for his lost home and the family he left behind.  Those memories are dim, though; to survive, Ivan must push them away.  It's the only way to be satisfied with a life spent behind bars.  So, Ivan concentrates on his friends, his paintings, and the tiny world of the Big Top Mall—the only world he's really ever known.    

Then Ruby arrives.  The terrified baby elephant is slated to become the Big Top Mall's new star, but she's too scared to cooperate.  Ivan knows he has to protect little Ruby.  His jungle instincts haven't been totally erased by his pampered life and yet, Ivan can't think of how to save her.  He only knows he must.  And soon.

There's no way to capture the essence of The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate in a simple plot summary.  I'm convinced it can't be done.  Why?  Because the story inside this unassuming book packs a wallop so big that it can't be contained, let alone explained.  In spare, but lovely prose, Applegate tells a beautiful tale that's poetic, powerful, and purposeful.  I can't begin to describe how deeply it touched me, so just trust me on this one—you want to read Ivan's story.

Note:  Although The One and Only Ivan is a work of fiction, it's based on a real story, which you can read about here.    

(Readalikes:  I really can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:  A

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG for some disturbing content (animal cruelty)

To the FTC, with love:  I borrowed The One and Only Ivan from my kids' elementary school library as part of my volunteer work with the school's reading program. 
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

Listening

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Glass Houses by Louise Penny



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