Title: The One and Only Ivan
Author: Katherine Applegate
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: January 17, 2012
AR Levels: Interest Level: 4th to 8th grades; Book Level: 3.6; Points: 4.0
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11594337-the-one-and-only-ivan
In a nutshell: Ivan the gorilla is the star attraction at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, but he's not the draw that he used to be even though his artwork sells for a pretty penny in the gift shop. Still, Ivan is content with his situation until one day he meets his newest neighbor, a baby elephant named Ruby, and he realizes that things have to change. This is a book for anyone who's ever longed for a better life and had the courage to do something about it even in the face of adversity.
I'd recommend it for grades: 3rd to 6th
I'd recommend it to: fans of animal books, circus fans, or anyone who enjoys a a nice heartwarming story (It's also a quick read that would be great for reluctant readers.)
What I liked most about this book: The animal characters in the book are so well-written. You immediately connect with them even though they're not human. I cried a few times during this book because I was so emotionally connected to these animals, and I'm not ashamed to admit it! :)
Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): My favorite moment is any one with Bob, the spunky homeless dog who sleeps on Ivan's belly. He's so funny. I love Stella, the older elephant, as well. She reminds me of Charlotte from Charlotte's Web because of how wise and caring she is.
Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): There
are Newbery winners that are good. There are Newbery winners that are
great. And there are Newbery winners that are so beautiful that they are destined to be classics. This is one of those. 5 stars for sure.