Rewind: The One and Only Ivan

I was pretty excited Monday when Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan won the John Newbery Medal. I am still trying to process the amazingness of what happened. Not ready to write about the moment and what I think it mean for children’s literature. However, I have spent some time this past week reflecting on year with The One and Only Ivan, and I stumbled upon a short little blog post that I wrote last February. 

I’ve decided to rerun my post from February.

I don’t know how to write a review for The One and Only Ivan. Trying to come up with the right words for a book that I love so much is hard. The bottom line is that I want every middle grade reader to have access to this book.

A library without Ivan is a library with a hole. The One and Only Ivan is a book that is accessable to most fourth grade readers, at the same time, I feel like sixth and seventh graders will be able to take so much away from Katherine Applegate’s story.

As of today I believe that 7 of my students have read Ivan. The cool thing is that all of them seem to be getting emotional at different parts. Each reader is connecting with the story in their own way. I love this book.

I understand that this isn’t much of a reivew. I’m sorry. Earlier I said that a library without Ivan has a hole. I felt a little like my blog without Ivan also contained a hole. I’m hoping that I’m able to work up the courage to maybe write a more complete review of Ivan in the future (maybe on Nerdy Book Club), but in the meantime, please read The One and Only Ivan. I believe that it is Applegate’s masterpiece.


8 thoughts on “Rewind: The One and Only Ivan

  1. I love all that you and mrschu have done to connect us with books. I love your passion. This year I felt so connected to the awards from your bogs and tweets. Ivan deserves the medal and the throng of new readers to this story what a wonderful treat


  2. I was struck by your thought on how the children were getting emotional at different parts. I found that true in myself. I had a completely different reaction to the book reading it on my own and then reading to my students.

    We love Ivan too!


  3. I completely agree that while this book is appropriate for elementary age kids, it is also a good one for older readers. As an adult, I’ve read this book three times over the past year and each time I took away something new. It’s that kind of book.


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