The One and Only Ivan

By Katherine Applegate


Ivan is a gorilla and the King of the Bigtop Mall. With hundreds of people coming to see him everyday in his sanctuary, Ivan is used to the attention. He is also an "artist" who expresses his feelings with his abstract paintings. Everything seems to change though when a baby elephant from the circus named Ruby comes to live in the mall sanctuary. When she firsts arrives she is scared and vulnerable , but Stella another elephant protects her. When Stella passes away she has only one wish, that Ruby would get out of this cage and have a better life. Now Ivan is determined to make Stella's wish come true. He's not sure how but will do anything to get Ruby into a zoo and away from the circus.


"I am Ivan. I am a gorilla. It's not as easy as it looks." (Characterization)

"I can’t let Ruby be another One and Only. I’m angry at last. I have someone to protect" (Conflict)


Extra! Extra!

This book may be fictional, but it is actually based on true events. There is a real Ivan! He was captured from the wild when he was young and then raised in a human home. When he got to big he was placed in a mall with other animals, but they were not his species. After spending 27 years alone in a cage he was finally placed in a zoo where he lived happily for the rest of his life with other gorillas.