Cover image for Ivan : the remarkable true story of the shopping mall gorilla
Ivan : the remarkable true story of the shopping mall gorilla
Applegate, Katherine, author.
Publication Information:
Boston : Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2014]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 23 x 27 cm
"The true story of Ivan, known as the Shopping Mall Gorilla, who lived alone in a small cage for almost 30 years before being relocated to the gorilla habitat at ZooAtlanta."--
Reading Level:
Ages 4-8.

Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.7 0.5 169750.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library QL737.P96 A67 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
Grand Island Library QL737.P96 A67 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Audubon Library QL737.P96 A67 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Clarence Library QL737.P96 A67 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
East Aurora Library QL737.P96 A67 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library QL737.P96 A67 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Lancaster Library QL737.P96 A67 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library QL737.P96 A67 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library QL737.P96 A67 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Dudley Branch Library QL737.P96 A67 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction STEM

On Order



In a spare, powerful text and evocative illustrations, the Newbery medalist Katherine Applegate and the artist G. Brian Karas present the extraordinary real story of a special gorilla.
     Captured as a baby, Ivan was brought to a Tacoma, Washington, mall to attract shoppers. Gradually, public pressure built until a better way of life for Ivan was found at Zoo Atlanta. From the Congo to America, and from a local business attraction to a national symbol of animal welfare, Ivan the Shopping Mall Gorilla traveled an astonishing distance in miles and in impact.
     This is his true story and includes photographs of Ivan in the back matter.

Author Notes

Katherine Applegate was born in Michigan on July 19, 1956. She writes science fiction, young adult romances, and pop-up books. She is the author of the Making Waves, Making Out, and Roscoe Riley Rules series. She writes the Animorphs, Everworld, and Remnants series under the pen name K. A. Applegate. She also writes under the pen names of C. Archer, Catherine Kendall and Elizabeth Benning. She has received numerous awards including a Golden Duck Award (Eleanor Cameron Award for Middle Grades) for The Message in 1997, the SCBWI 2008 Golden Kite Award for Best Fiction and the Bank Street 2008 Josette Frank Award for Home of the Brave, and the 2013 Newbery Medal and the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award (Illinois) for The One and Only Ivan.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

For those who loved the Newbery Award-winning The One and Only Ivan (2012), Applegate has created a picture-book adaptation of the true story. A baby gorilla from central Africa is captured and taken to Tacoma, Washington. At first he lives with a human family, and children will see themselves in the happy gorilla that sleeps in a bed, goes to baseball games, and licks ice-cream cones. But when Ivan grows too big, he is sold, and for 27 years, the adult silverback lives in a cage at a shopping mall. After protesting citizens write petitions, Ivan goes to a better environment at Zoo Atlanta. Back matter has more facts and photos of Ivan and websites for further information, as well as one of Ivan's finger paintings signed with his thumbprint. Using pencil-line drawing and washes of pastel, Karas feelingly depicts Ivan's gentle and loving personality conveying how this gentle gorilla won the hearts of thousands of people and readers.--Gepson, Lolly Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this poignant picture book, Applegate streamlines the story told in her Newbery-winning novel, The One and Only Ivan, about an African gorilla captured by poachers and caged in a Washington State mall for 27 years as a tourist attraction. The third-person narrative diminishes the immediacy of the story somewhat, but supports the nonfictional bent of this account. While Applegate omits some of the novel's darker bits, as when Ivan's elephant friend at the mall dies of neglect, many grim moments remain, and she is clear about the injustice of the gorillas' situation ("Poachers with loud guns and cruel hands stole the little gorilla and another baby"). Karas's (Tap Tap Boom Boom) muted illustrations capably reflect the contrasts between Ivan's happy early life in Africa, his gloomy years in captivity, and his eventual transfer to a new home, with grass and other gorillas, at Zoo Atlanta. A detailed afterword fills out Ivan's story and imparts the sad news of his death in 2012. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. Illustrator's agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-In this gorgeous picture book, Applegate details the real-life inspiration for her Newbery Award-winning novel, The One and Only Ivan (HarperCollins, 2012). This title describes the harsh life of Ivan the gorilla, who was captured as a baby by poachers and brought to the B&I Circus Store in Tacoma, a mall that featured other wild animals. Though he initially lived in a house with the store's owner, when he got too big and unwieldy to handle, he was caged and put on display, staying there for more than 27 years. When the public became aware of his plight, Ivan attracted media attention and eventually was brought to a more humane environment at Zoo Atlanta. Though Applegate touches on some dark times in the life of this gorilla-he was captured with a young female gorilla who died shortly after-she does so with sensitivity. "Without her, Ivan was all alone, with too much left to learn." While her more detailed note on Ivan states that he died in 2012, the book ends on a positive moment, with Ivan finding peace in his new home. Karas's darkly hued, smudgy illustrations complement the tone of the narrative and convey the sense of loneliness and isolation that marked the gorilla's existence. A remembrance from Ivan's main zookeeper rounds out this moving work.-Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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