All The Right Reads

Fiction Recommendation Experts

2023 Book Review: The One and Only Ivan

by Katherine Applegate

MG Contemporary, 2012 by HarperCollins, 307 Pages 

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Punctuation is accurate. That’s a weird thing to list as a negative but it’s a question I had. If this is a 1st person story from a gorilla, wouldn’t it be badly punctuated? Of course, he can’t actually write so suspend disbelief for that and you’ll be fine.

What I Did Like:

  • Emotional in the best way. You feel things Ivan feels, it reads like good poetry. Beautiful language and beautiful observations.
  • Human, in a good way. Anyone who has ever enjoyed an animal story can say that we love when they relate to each other and the world in a humane way. This story has that.
  • Lovely characters. Ivan is based on a real gorilla and I LOVE that. 

Who Should Read This One:

  • Readers of any age who enjoy animal stories shouldn’t miss Ivan’s. It has a great message and is a fast read.

My Rating: 5 Stars

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