The One and Only Ivan

Readers Advisory

List of other books by Katherine Applegate (style appeal): (scroll down)

Nonfiction Books about Apes and People Who Study Them (subject appeal):

Mara, Will. Dian Fossey: among the gorillas. Profiles the life of the scientist who studied mountain gorillas in central Africa and worked to ensure their survival. (

McDonnell, Patrick. Me . . . Jane. Holding her stuffed toy chimpanzee, young Jane Goodall observes nature, reads Tarzan books, and dreams of living in Africa and helping animals. Includes biographical information on the prominent zoologist. (

Patterson, Francine. Koko’s kitten. The real life experience of Koko, a gorilla in California who uses sign language, with a young kitten whom she loved and grieved over when it died. (

Portman, Michael. Gorillas in danger. Describes the life cycle and habitat of gorillas and explains why they are at risk of becoming extinct. (

Redmond, Ian, Peter Anderson and Geoff Brightling. Gorilla (Eyewitness books series). Discover the fascinating world of gorillas and other primates – their social behavior, family life, and remarkable intelligence. (from the book cover)

Winter, Jeanette. Watcher: Jane Goodall’s life with the chimps. This book traces out the life and career of Jane Goodall as a watcher of English fauna to her adult work as scholar of animal behavior in Africa. (

Nonfiction Books about Elephants (subject appeal):

Redmond, Ian and Dave King. Elephant (Eyewitness books series). Discusses elephants, their physiology, behavior, evolution, relatives, uses by humans, and conservation. The secret lives of the world’s largest land mammals are revealed in this look at their natural history, separate male and female societies, complex means of communicating, and the important role they’ve played in human history. (

Kulling, Monica. Elephants: life in the wild. Describes the physical characteristics, habitat, family life, and eating habits of both African and Asian elephants. (

Helfer, Ralph. The world’s greatest elephant. Born on the same day in the same German town, Bram and his elephant, Modoc, grew up side by side. Their circus act brought them wide fame, but their incredible bond would also lead to a series of adventures with danger at every turn. (

Nonfiction Books about Animal Rights (issue appeal):

Hurley, Jennifer A. Animal rights. Presents opposing viewpoints about animal rights, discussing their capacity to suffer, the question of whether they can be the property of people, whether they should be used as food, and animal experimentation. (

Woodward, Kay. Animal rights. Examines the issues related to animal rights and our changing attitudes toward other creatures. (

Scherer, Lauri S. Animal rights. Presents articles both supporting and opposing issues relating to animal rights, including if the food industry mistreats animals, the ethics of animal medical experimentation, and animal rights activism. (

More Fiction Books about Animals Interacting with Humans (theme appeal):

DiCamillo, Kate. Because of Winn Dixie. Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie. (

Hiaasen, Carl. Hoot. Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy’s attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site. (

George, Jean Craighead. Julie of the wolves. (Newbery Medal winner) While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska and is befriended by a wolf pack. (

George, Jean Craighead. My side of the mountain. In his diary, Sam Gribley tells of a year spent living alone in a tree house in the Catskill Mountains learning about plant and animal life during the changing seasons. (

Osborne, Mary Pope. Good morning gorillas (Magic tree house series #26). The magic tree house takes Jack and Annie to an African rainforest, where the siblings encounter gorillas and learn to communicate with them. (

Henry, Marguerite. King of the wind. (Newbery Medal winner) Follows the adventures of the Arabian stallion brought to England to become one of the founding sires of the Thoroughbred breed and the mute Arab stable boy who tended him with loyalty and devotion all his life. (

Harris, R. P. Tua and the elephant. (Current Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee) In Chiang Mai, Thailand, nine-year-old Tua releases an abused elephant from its chains–can she complete the rescue by getting it to an elephant refuge without being caught herself? (

Morpungo, Michael. An elephant in the garden. 1944. Elizabeth’s mother works at Dresden Zoo, where her favorite animal is an elephant named Marlene. When the zoo director tells her the dangerous animals must be shot to prevent them running amok when the town is bombed, Elizabeth’s mother moves Marlene into the back garden to save her. And then the bombs start to fall … (

Other Fiction Books about Zoos (subject appeal):

Hartnett, Sonya. Midnight zoo. Twelve-year-old Andrej, nine-year-old Tomas, and their baby sister Wilma flee their Romany encampment when it is attacked by Germans during World War II, and in an abandoned town they find a zoo where the animals tell their stories, helping the children understand what has become of their lives and what it means to be free. (

Korman, Gordon. Zoobreak. After a class trip to a floating zoo where animals are mistreated and Savannah’s missing pet monkey is found in a cage, Long Island sixth-grader Griffin Bing and his band of misfits plan a rescue. (

Pinkwater, Daniel. Bushman lives! In the 1960s, Harold Knishke, a Chicago teenager with a special place in his heart for Bushman, the famed departed gorilla of the Lincoln Park Zoo, embarks on a hometown adventure, in a quest to become a great artist and figure out how he became the object of a famous folk song. (

Other Books Told from an Animal’s Perspective (character appeal):

Appelt, Kathi. The underneath. An old hound that has been chained up at his hateful owner’s run-down shack, and two kittens born underneath the house, endure separation, danger, and many other tribulations in their quest to be reunited and free. (

Birney, Betty G. The world according to Humphrey. Humphrey, pet hamster at Longfellow School, learns that he has an important role to play in helping his classmates and teacher. (NoveList)

Burnford, Sheila. The incredible journey. A Siamese cat, an old bull terrier, and a young Labrador retriever travel together 250 miles through the Canadian wilderness to find their family. (

Fine, Anne. The diary of a killer cat. Tuffy the pet cat tries to defend himself against accusations of terrifying other animals and murdering the neighbor’s rabbit. (NoveList)

George, Jean Craighead. Gorilla gang. G.G., a seven-year-old gorilla, joins a gang of ruffians and wreaks havoc until one of his antics harms his little sister, and as G.G. races to help her, he learns a lot about himself. (

Jennings, Patrick. We can’t all be rattlesnakes. When Crusher the snake is captured, her only thought is to escape but as time goes by and she befriends the other inmates of the “zoo,” she realizes that freedom also means leaving companions behind. (NoveList)

MacLachlan, Patricia. Once I ate a pie. Thirteen dogs tell their stories in simple poems. (NoveList)

Martin, Ann M. A dog’s life: the autobiography of a stray. Squirrel, a stray puppy, tells her life story, from her nurturing mother and brother to making her own way in the world, facing busy highways, changing seasons, and humans both gentle and brutal. (

Morpurgo, Michael. War horse. Joey the horse recalls his experiences growing up on an English farm, his struggle for survival as a cavalry horse during World War I, and his reunion with his beloved master. (NoveList)

Sewell, Anna. Black Beauty: the autobiography of a horse. Originally published in 1877, this classic story, told from the animal’s perspective, captures the struggles and triumphs of this magnificent creature from his early days as a free colt to an owned creature poorly treated by evil men. (NoveList)

White, E. B. Charlotte’s web. When he discovers that he is destined to be someone’s dinner, Wilbur the pig is desolate until his spider friend Charlotte decides to help him. (

Other Verse Novels (genre appeal):

Applegate, Katherine. Home of the brave. Kek, an African refugee, is confronted by many strange things at the Minneapolis home of his aunt and cousin, as well as in his fifth grade classroom, and longs for his missing mother, but finds comfort in the company of a cow and her owner. (

Creech, Sharon. Love that dog. A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem. (

Hesse, Karen. Out of the dust. (Newbery Medal winner) In a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family’s wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Depression. (

Other Emotionally Intense Books (tone appeal):

Lowry, Lois. Number the stars. (Newbery Medal winner) In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis. (

Paterson, Katherine. Bridge to Terabithia. (Newbery Medal winner) The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm. (

Gipson, Fred. Old Yeller. The story of a boy and his dog in the Texas hill country of the 1860s. (

DiCamillo, Kate. The miraculous journey of Edward Tulane. Edward Tulane, a cold-hearted and proud toy rabbit, loves only himself until he is separated from the little girl who adores him and travels across the country, acquiring new owners and listening to their hopes, dreams, and histories. (

The One and Only Ivan was chosen as the Newbery Medal winner for 2013. To find other Newbery Medal winners and Newbery Honor books, click on the link below. This webpage has a link to a list of all previous Newbery Medal and Honor winners:


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