by Katherine Applegate
This novel written for kids is a beautiful story told in the first person by
Ivan, a silverback gorilla. Ivan lives in a small enclosure made of cement and
glass at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. He spends his days doing
artwork and watching TV. His friends are Stella the wise old elephant, Bob the
stray dog, and Julia, a human child. They are eventually joined by baby
elephant Ruby. After Ivan loses his good friend due to neglect and sees baby
Ruby being abused by the circus owner, he springs into action, trying with all
his might to better the living conditions of little Ruby. The author does a
wonderful job of making us think about the fate of animals living in captivity.
The character Ivan is based on a real gorilla, also named Ivan, who spent 27
years of his life alone in a cage. The real Ivan was rescued and now lives at
Zoo Atlanta in much happier circumstances.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
By Faye Kellerman
Terrific read as always from Faye Kellerman.