Please help me welcome Kathy Speagle to our team! Kathy is one of my go-to resources for fantastic books, and I’m thrilled that she’ll be sharing reviews here every month.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Ivan is the main attraction at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. He spends his days acting the part of a Silverback Gorilla to the patrons who gawk at him through the glass of his domain. Eating massive amounts of food, beating his chest occasionally and hanging from his tyre (sic) swing, he tries to impress all those who come to see him. He lives alongside of Stella, an elephant, and a stray dog named Bob. The animals contemplate life outside their small world.
Money is tight and Ivan isn’t as big of a deal as he used to be. Mack the mall owner decides to bring in a new attraction. With the addition of young Ruby, Ivan and Stella start to see their surroundings in a new way. They start to think that they really must find a way out. But do they have the courage? Will Ivan ever achieve his dream of being a real artist? Will Stella get the medical treatment she needs before it is too late?
Katherine Applegate has the wonderful knack of imagining the observations of a caged animal. Escape into the brain of Ivan and see the world of humans through his eyes. Poignant, nostalgic, and unbelievably real, you will feel as though you are trapped in the cage with him.
Kathy Speagle is a 7th grade reading teacher in Topeka, Kansas. She loves reading just about anything. Reading is a wonderful escape, a way to live another person’s life for just a short snippet of time. Although she loves reading adult novels, she rarely finds the time because she is trying to read faster than her students in an effort to hand them more good literature. She lives in Scranton, KS with her two cats, Grace and Mamrie. She has the claw marks to prove it.