Katherine Applegate won the 2013 Newberry Medal for The One and Only Ivan, a devastatingly beautiful book. It is a fictional account of true events.
Short, spare chapters make this book accessible for readers of all age levels, tapping into emotion through poetic prose, rather than focusing on harsh accounting of even harsher facts.
There were tears in my house as we read this story, and simple, compassionate, knowing smiles. Connections are easily made for children between the experience of a silverback gorilla housed in a shopping mall domain, and their own through sentient writing.
It is amazing for read-aloud and discussion, as well as quiet, alone-reading with time for pondering and feeling.
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