The One and Only Ivan
Newbery Medal 2013
Rare is the book that makes me want to gather up the neighborhood kids and pretend I had a class of my own to read this to. The only distraction as I read was all the lesson ideas popping in my brain. Loved it.
"Magic Realism" children's book style: Ivan is a gorilla and an artist telling us his story, from capture in Africa to shopping mall circus* to a home at the zoo. Sad but warm, cute but real, simple but thought-provoking. Would go nice with Dahl's Magic Finger in helping students learn to respect the animal kingdom.
5 out of 5 stars, highly recommend.
*Do they really have such things? Never heard of it. I could see a petting zoo maybe, but elephants and JCPenny?