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17 March 2012 @ 02:29 pm
Uniquely Individual  



Let me add my voice to the others praising THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate (Harper 2012). Ivan, a silverback gorilla, has been a part of the roadside mini-circus for 9855 days (gorillas keep count of these things). His best friend is an elephant who also performs in the show when people come to see the animals. Stella, the elephant and a stray dog named Bob who sleeps curled on Ivan's stomach, are his constant companions. They almost make living in his glass enclosure bearable. In short chapters told in verse, Applegate lets Ivan tell his story. This is first and foremost a story of survival, of hope. That hope shines forth in the spare words of Ivan and his companions. THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN is indeed as singular as Ivan himself. <207>