The One and Only Ivan

by Evan Robert Schack


This is my summer report of The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. This is a true story, but some of the other characters are fake. Ivan is an actual live gorilla who lives (or lived, I don't know if he died) in Zoo Atlanta. Below is a picture of the title covering I have.

As you can see this book won the John Newbery Award for "The Most Distinguished Contribution for American Literature For Children." If you look closely enough it says that on the medal.

Big image

Characters, Places, etc.

The characters in this story are:

  • Ivan the silverback gorilla,main character, likes to draw, old star of show.
  • Stella the old elephant, is very wise, has a swollen foot.
  • Bob the renegade street dog, dislikes humans, likes snoozing on Ivan's belly.
  • Ruby the baby elephant,talkative, always questioning, new star of show.
  • Mack the keeper of the mall/circus, former caretaker of Ivan, needs money (or so he says).
  • George the custodian, strict about homework, Julia's father.
  • Julia the girl who helps Ivan paint, helps Ivan to his goal, also likes drawing.

This story takes place in a tourist magnet, the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade and ends in a zoo.


Ivan is living in the mall in his domain with Stella as his companion. He draws for entertainment and also has a TV in his domain. He has been stuck at the mall for 9 whole years and he is used to it. But one day, the animals sense that a new animal is coming to the mall. Bob and Ivan just suspect because of the workers rushing, but Stella is sure that a new animal, a baby elephant, is coming. While they wait, Stella tells them a story about a gorilla named Jambo. It is very good, and Ivan reflects on it. Then Ruby arrives. She is scared, so Mack has to bring Stella to get Ruby out. Then finally, Ruby gets into the elephant domain. The next morning, Ruby introduces herself to Ivan and Bob and Ivan shows her art. Then it is Ruby's first show and she is a hit. Some time passes,and then Stella gets sick. That night, Stella asks Ivan to take care of Ruby. Then Stella the elephant passes on, a victim of her own foot virus. Ivan is let down for a while, but Bob reminds him that he is the One and Only Ivan. The next night, Ivan is begged to tell another story by Ruby. Then Ivan, summoning all his gorilla brain can remember, tells Ruby a story. He lived as Mud, the painter. He played with his sister, Tag, in the forest. Then bad people came. They killed Ivan's parents. They tore Tag away from the jungle, and she died of longing. Then Mack came in. He raised Ivan like a baby human, and when he got too old, he sent him to the mall where he works.

After the story, Ivan counts the days he's been at the mall. It totals up to 9 years.

Later, Julia shows Ivan how to finger paint, and it opens up a new world. Later, Ivan hatches a plan. He decides he needs to get Ruby to the zoo. He paints a picture of where Ruby should be. Then he tries to show Julia what he made but she doesn't understand. Ivan gets MAD. Then Ivan becomes a real silverback gorilla and does his first ever chest beat. Then Julia understands what Ivan made and she pulls through with Ivan's idea to get his picture on the billboard. The billboard is so well noticed that Ivan is soon on TV. And people living there protest and say that Ivan and Ruby need to go to a zoo. Soon, a woman in a white suit tries to take Ruby to the zoo and Ruby goes. Next is Ivan. He is given sleepy juice and taken to the zoo too. There he meets other gorillas like him. He makes friends with a female gorilla. Then he climbs a tree at night and sees Ruby. She is happy. Then Julia comes to the zoo and it turns out she has adopted Bob.

He tells Ivan what he is, and the book ends there.

The End