by Katherine Applegate

Reviewer Rating:
5

Review

   Winner of the Newbery medal (for distinguished contribution to American literature for children) this book started off slowly but once it got rolling it was impossible to put down.  The events in this book are told from the perspective of Ivan, a gorilla whose domain (cage) is woefully undersized. He and the other animals are owned by a guy named Mack who is torn between doing the right thing and making money from the daily performances in the shopping mall. Events conspire however to force Ivan to reconsider his station in life and he begins to wonder if there isn't more to life than what he experiences daily.   I must say that whenever I go to zoos and the circus I often wonder if the animals are being treated well. I know that for some endangered animals, zoos are perhaps the only refuge from human exploitation. This book is based on the true story of Ivan the Shopping Mall Gorilla and although some tragic events occur, they are not too much for older kids to handle.  I highly recommend this book.

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