Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ivan the Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate


Stories like, Ivan the Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate are very near and dear to my heart. I lived within close proximity to Ivan and his shopping mall in Tacoma, Washington. As a family, we visited him at least once a month. I remember sitting outside of his enclosed glass cage, imagining what it would be like to go inside and play with him. I could have sat there for hours just watching him color, walk around, watch television, and eat. As I grew older, I began to learn of how he came to the B&I Shopping Center and like others were upset that he was taken away from his family in the Congo by poachers. The idea that someone would pay for an animal so that they can be enticed to come to their mall was despicable. Many of the local school districts English teachers had their classes write letters against the gorilla living in a glass enclosed cage all by himself. I remember hearing the news that he was being released to a zoo on the east coast and then never hearing about him again until a news report caught my attention that he had died.

This picture book was a reminder of my childhood and brought me many happy tears to know that his life improved with his move to Atlanta. I was thrilled to read that he still was able to paint while learning how to relate with other gorillas and enjoy the outdoors.


I read this book as a part of my #BookaDay Reading Challenge, inspired by Donalyn Miller. My goal is to read at least one children's literature book everyday and share my thoughts here on my blog. Please feel free to subscribe or connect with me on social media to follow my journey through the books I read. Until next time ...

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