Saturday, September 19, 2015

Class Act, Module 4: Newbery Winners: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

As y'all know, I'm a Library Science student at University of North Texas. This semester I have the pleasure of taking an AWESOME class called Literature for Youth! One of the things we have to do is read some books from a list my Prof has provided us and then make up a blog and post reviews over what we've read. CLEARLY this is right up my alley! So, instead of making a completely different blog, every Saturday I'm going to start posting this new feature! 

Newbery Winners 

e-book, 227 pages
Released: January 17, 2012
Published by: HarperCollins
Source: Library

 Book Summary:      Ivan and his friends live in separate cages at the Exit 8 Bog Top Mall and Video Arcade. He may get lonely sometimes, but he's finally gotten used to it and all the humans looking through his glass at him. He has forgotten what life in the jungle used to be. But then there is an addition to their little family, that makes Ivan begin to think about all those memories he had suppressed

Reference: Applegate, K. (2012). The one and only Ivan. New York: Harper.


I've had this on my "Want ti Read" shelf since it's release, but I just never got around to it. I'm glad this class gave me the opportunity to finally get to it. I loved Ivan, From the characters, to the writing style, to the illustrations, I really liked it.
     Since the topic was award winners, I'll talk about what I think made it an award winner. It's a book about animals, so children would love to read it automatically. Add on to the fact that it's a gorilla, or an animal that one will likely not have as a pet, and I'm sure children were running to grab this one. I also feel the illustrations would have pulled a child in. There were only a few of them so it would have forced them to read, but that's a good thing. The illustrations were there to merely complement the words, but they really helped to give the story some life. I was able to see what Ivan looked like in my head as well as on the paper. 
     The biggest thing that I felt appealed to the voters for the Newbery award committee was the amount of feelings in it. This one holds some heavy emotion that I'm not sure I would have wanted to read if I were a child. But now as an adult, female, I can see why I have fallen for it now.
     Lastly, I LOVED the writing style and the characters. For them to be based on some real animals, it was very interesting to see what Applegate thought they were saying and thinking. I would love to have met the real Ivan just to get a better idea of him and his character. 
     So many things can factor into making a book an award winner, but I feel that Ivan captures everything. From the writing style to the characters, to making the book a great read for adults and children alike, Ivan is a book that will certainly be around for ages. 
Overall, I give this

Professionals are saying...


How Ivan confronts his harrowing past yet stays true to his nature exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage.
Living in a "domain" of glass, metal and cement at the Big Top Mall, Ivan sometimes forgets whether to act like a gorilla or a human—except Ivan does not think much of humans. He describes their behavior as frantic, whereas he is a peaceful artist. Fittingly, Ivan narrates his tale in short, image-rich sentences and acute, sometimes humorous, observations that are all the more heartbreaking for their simple delivery. His sorrow is palpable, but he stoically endures the cruelty of humans until Ruby the baby elephant is abused. In a pivotal scene, Ivan finally admits his domain is a cage, and rather than let Ruby live and die in grim circumstances, he promises to save her. In order to express his plea in a painting, Ivan must bravely face buried memories of the lush jungle, his family and their brutal murder, which is recounted in a brief, powerful chapter sure to arouse readers’ passions. In a compelling ending, the more challenging question Applegate poses is whether or not Ivan will remember what it was like to be a gorilla. Spot art captures poignant moments throughout.
Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new generation of advocates. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Retrieved from: Kirkus Reviews(2011).The One and Only Ivan  Review [The One and Only Ivanby K. Applegate]. Patricia Castelao. Retrieved from: on September 19, 2015.

Library Uses...

     I feel that Ivan could be used in a number of ways in different libraries. In a public library setting, I could use this as a book talk activity and get the kids to draw a picture of their favorite animal and then tell us about it. If possible, it would also be pretty cool to look into watching a movie that featured the REAL Ivan to see what he did all day now that he was in the zoo. In a school library setting, I could get the children to go out and get books of their favorite animals for a light research session and have them write a small story from the point of view of the animal they researched.  I would also let the kids in the school library setting see the movie of the real Ivan if it were available.

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