Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The One and Only Ivan - Review(kind of)

Title:  The One and Only Ivan 
Author: Katherine Applegate 
Source: Library thing Contest

Goodreads Summary:

Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.

Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.

Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.

My thoughts:

I could not read this book!!!  Let me preface by saying I am a vegetarian, and have been since I was a teenager and read Upton Sinclair's book The Jungle.  I volunteer weekly at our local shelter and was recently on the board of an animal rescue group.  I am extremely sensitive to animal stories, and I had a feeling this book was a bad idea. 

I made it about 8 pages and had to stop.  Not because there was graphic animal abuse, but just knowing how they were living really bothered me.  And then one animal died.  So, I am taking this book to work, and donating it to my library.  I think it will help teach children about animals and how they should be treated.  I also saw on other reviews that lots of people liked this book - so it must be cute.  What I read was certainly well written.

I gave it a shot, but I just couldn't do it.  I know the kids at my school will enjoy it though, and I hope the message sticks in their brain. 

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