It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

This week we read the 2013 Newbery Award Medal winner. This kind of starts off slow but once you get over that hump after chapter 3-4, it really picks up! And I began to get more into the story of Ivan and Stella the elephant. This book will definitely take you on an emotional journey. I was only able to listen to the book, it was a first for me. I do not believe I have ever listen to book so it took some time for adjusting.


The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate is an illustrated children’s novel about a silver back gorilla named Ivan. Ivan can understand humans, but they cannot understand him. He lives at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, which is owned by a human named Mack. Ivan’s home is at one end of the ring, and is encased in glass. There is a fake jungle scene painted on one wall, but Ivan knows the plants are not really there. He also knows that he is called “The One and Only Ivan,” because Mack read it to him from the billboard.

One of Ivan’s neighbors is Stella the elephant. Because she belonged to another circus before coming to the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, she can do lots of tricks. Ivan does not do tricks, but people come and look at him each day. Even though he does not do tricks, he does draw pictures with a crayon that was given to him by the janitor’s daughter, Julia. Mack sells Ivan’s pictures for twenty dollars each. This reminds Ivan of when he used to draw on his mother’s back, using mud instead of crayons. At first, when visitors came to see him, they were in awe of him, but now he thinks they just believe him to be sad and lonely.

Ivan likes to watch television, and once saw another silver back gorilla on TV. He wants to meet that gorilla, and is convinced they are the only two of their kind on Earth.

A new elephant is introduced named Ruby.  Ruby shares a story about when she lived with her mother and other elephants. She had fallen in a hole, and humans helped her to freedom. Bob is skeptical; he does not believe that humans can be so nice. Meanwhile, Stella’s foot hurts more and more so she cannot perform, and she dies soon after.

The main aspect of the story has to be the story telling and the character development. Applegate does a great job really drawing you in and making you feel what the characters are feeling. She puts you right into the story as if you were there. The writing level is right on par for younger readers such as 4th-7th graders. This is an easy read and easy to understand. This novel left me very emotionally satisfying for many reasons, like I explained before KA knows how to hit you in the feels. It’s book about hope and keeps you wanting the characters to win at every situation. very smart novel.


3 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What are you Reading?”

  1. Great angle in your review! I enjoyed reading your review and how you connect the story with emotions. I find myself feeling saddened or angry when I read certain things in books now. Have you ever read something you had to take a break from because of how it made you feel?


  2. I felt all different emotions when reading, but I was mostly upset because of the animals’ living arrangements. It’s a tough situation, but it brings it to the reader’s attention, and has the reader really reflecting on the world around them.


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