The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan - Patricia Castelao, Katherine Applegate The One and Only Ivan. I'm not sure how the author managed to pack such a punch into such a short novel, or a middle grade novel at that. I don't usually read books intended for the really young adult audience (grades 6-8) because many of them lack depth. But Ivan, hits all the right notes. This is beautiful and many times painful story with a lovely, lovely ending. I read it in one two-hour sitting but I could have spent more much time with Ivan, Rosie, Bob, Stella and Julie. What I liked most about this book was the way that it will ask younger readers to examine ideas about what makes things right or wrong. Books with animal characters are often unusually poignant and I think Ivan's matter-of-fact narration is what gives this novel power-- because the poignancy is definitely there. This is a great one to read to kids of all ages.