The One and Only Ivan - Patricia Castelao, Katherine Applegate Appeal Characteristics: gorilla, elephant, art, stray dog, family, home, inhumane treatment of exotic animals, lovable characters, humans

I cried like a baby at this book. I was hearing that this book and Wonder are fighting it out at mock award events...and sooo many people are torn between deciding about the two. I was that one librarian shouting "NONE OF THESE OTHER BOOKS HAVE ANY POTENTIAL CLOSER TO WONDER!" Yup, after reading this I ate those words. This book was just as touching...just as powerful as Wonder. I don't even wanna compare the two because I'm not even sure how that will be decided. The One and Only Ivan not only had great character development, but the supporting cast of characters were just so quirky and lovable you couldn't help but root for these animals. I especially loved how Ivan compared his romance with one of the gorillas to a romantic movie on his tv screen he would watch with bob. BOB! How could you not like the adorable stray...

I also like how they added the pictures at epic parts of the book to just give you that little extra touch of making the story that much more...meaningful. I only have wonderful things to say about this book, and I love that not only is this book big, but how the book is formatted a younger advanced reader could pick it up and just as easily enjoy it. There were definitely a few scenes that were hard to swallow about the abuse of animals, but I'm glad she didn't shy away from the subject content.

Red Flags: Animal Abuse, Animal Treatment, Mild Violence/Graphic Content