Rated of 5
A wonderful Book for Middle-grade Children
Ivan is a silverback gorilla who has lived most of his life in a cage. He narrates the story. Through Ivan, an elephant named Stella, a stray dog named Bob and a young girl named Julie and a baby elephant named Ruby we learn what it must be like for animals to be captured and caged and even trained to do "do tricks" to live. Ivan narrates the story and we learn how he went from life in the wild with his "family" to being a pet and finally being used as a draw in a mall designed to bring in people.
Through these characters, Applegate helps readers understand and empathize with animals who are misused by them.
Applegate doesn't preach instead letting her characters tell their stories.
Whether a child reads this book or an adult reads it to children, this is a book worth getting.