A Librarian Reads…

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Ivan is a Silverback gorilla. But he doesn’t live in the jungle, or even a zoo. His domain is a small cage in a circus in a mall. His friends include Stella, the performing elephant, Bob, a stray mutt who sleeps on his belly, and Julia, the daughter of the mall’s custodian. Ivan spends his days happily eating, showing off for the few visitors, and drawing pictures which are sold in the gift shop. But everything changes when a baby elephant comes to live at the mall. For the first time in his life, Ivan feels like a real Silverback with someone to protect.

Though this is a children’s story, the language is so beautiful and moving I would recommend it to everyone. But be aware, life for animals in a circus in a mall is not always happy or easy to read about.


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