“The One and only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate.
This book won the Newbery Medal and I couldn’t agree more with it’s winnings. I am so happy with the fact that this book won. One of the aspects a book must have to meet the criteria to win the Newbery Medal is it must present information with organization and clarity. The organization aspect of this book was unique but wonderful. I found it so easy to read and yet it was captivating. Many children’s books are easy enough to read that they are boring to adults and it is often hard to stay interested. “The One and Only Ivan” was written in a style that makes me think it is truly from the viewpoint of a gorilla. It was choppy and each page was like a different story, but it was organized. The way this book was written, the style, also fit true to the criteria by reaching the “appropriateness of style” requirement.
I know that I’ve spent this entire blog writing about style of the book, but I loved it, so I’m going to continue on. The part of this book that was most effective to me was the style. (Well, and the heartbreakingly beautiful plot). The fact that this book was written from the eyes and hands and mind of a gorillas was stunning. It felt real. In a book of this style, that is what counts. It could have easily felt like nonsense. It could have felt like a silly cartoon book. But it didn’t. At least to me, I felt like I was being told this story from Ivan himself. Katherine Applegate did a magnificent job of portraying this beautiful animal exactly how I would imagine them to think.
A round of applause for Kristina Applegate. This book deserved every ounce of this award.