Winner of the Newbery Medal 2013 Inspired by a true story, this is the beautifully written tale of how a mighty gorilla wins his freedom. A winning blend of humour and poignancy that will appeal to fans of Michael Morpurgo. Ivan is an easy-going gorilla who has spent his life performing for the crowds at the Exit 8 shopping mall. He rarely misses ...Read MoreWinner of the Newbery Medal 2013 Inspired by a true story, this is the beautifully written tale of how a mighty gorilla wins his freedom. A winning blend of humour and poignancy that will appeal to fans of Michael Morpurgo. Ivan is an easy-going gorilla who has spent his life performing for the crowds at the Exit 8 shopping mall. He rarely misses life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly thinks about it at all. But everything changes when a baby elephant called Ruby arrives and Ivan realises he must find a new life for them both. Told from Ivan's perspective this is a stand-out novel with a pertinent message for readers of 9+.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2013-05-27 "Hello, I am Ivan. I am a gorilla. It's not as easy as it looks." This is the introduction that readers receive to Ivan, who lives in confinement at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. But Ivan doesn't mind living there. In fact, he doesn't miss his previous life in the wild-until a young elephant named Ruby arrives and changes his outlook. Narrator Adam Grupper is gruff in his portrayal of Ivan, capturing the ape's voice and unique perspective. Although there is no measurable shift in Grupper's delivery to match the transformation of the book's protagonist, his approach will delight young listeners. Ages 8-12. A HarperCollins hardcover. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2011-11-14 Inspired by a true story, Applegate (Home of the Brave) offers a haunting tale told from the perspective of Ivan, a silverback gorilla who has been confined to a small "domain" of concrete, metal, and glass for 27 years. Joining Ivan at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade are Stella, an aging elephant, and Bob, a feisty stray dog. While other animals perform, Ivan makes art, watches TV, and offers melancholy assessments of their situation. When Ruby, an inquisitive baby elephant, arrives and Stella dies from neglect, her dying wish is for Ivan to help Ruby escape. The brief chapters read like free-verse poetry, the extra line breaks between paragraphs driving home the contrast between Ivan and humans, who in his opinion, "waste words. They toss them like banana peels and leave them to rot." As is to be expected, there's significant anthropomorphism, but Applegate is largely successful in creating a protagonist who can understand humans yet feels like a gorilla. Although Ivan's role in the events leading to their rescue reads as too human, readers will be left rethinking our relationship to animals. Final art not seen by PW. Agent: Wernick & Pratt Agency. Illustrator's agent: Kidshannon. Ages 8-12. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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