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One and Only Ivan

by Katherine Applegate  |  Grades 4-6  |  Lexile 570

This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.

Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

The One and Only Ivan features first-person narrative; author's use of literary devices (personification, imagery); and story elements (plot, character development, perspective).

Available Teacher Guides, Novel Units, Lesson Plans, and Activities for The One and Only Ivan: