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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The One and Only Ivan -- A Must Read
Katherine Applegate's award winning novel, The One and Only Ivan captures the reader from the very first three word sentence, I am Ivan. The first page, titled hello, is no more than three sparse sentences, I am Ivan. I am a gorilla. it's not as easy as it looks. The entire 300 page novel book is sparse, like Ivan's like -- a mighty Silverback gorilla, captured in Africa as an infant who endured nearly 30 years in a sparsely furnished roadside mall exhibit. A money maker for the mall owner. The empathetic work of fiction is based loosely on the real life gorilla who was captured in the Democratic Republic of Congo and then spent 27 years alone in a cage at a circus-themed mall in Tacoma, Washington. Eventually, a public outcry, including hundreds of letters from kids helped find that Ivan a home at Zoo Atlanta. The gorilla died at in 2012 at the age of 50. The novel, The One and Only Ivan ends with the introduction of the gorilla to other gorillas in the zoo. I wouldn't call it a happy ending, but a better ending to a truly a heart-wrenching story. I couldn't put the book down.