For 27 years, Ivan the gorilla lived alone inside a cage at South Tacoma mall, before moving on to make a life from himself at Zoo Atlanta, where he became something of a celebrity. The story of this famous silverback gorilla. The One and Only Ivan, has won the John Newberry Award for outstanding contribution to children's literature.
Written by Katherine Applegate, a well-known author of children's books, the story fictionalizes the kind of thoughts old Ivan may have had as he wiled away his years in solitary at South Tacoma's B&I.
As Applegate told The New York Times, after the award was announced ...
"I knew right away I wanted it to be written in first-person gorilla but really took some time to find the voice. I decided that he would be plain spoken and not waste a lot of words. The result was a book with a lot of white space. It turns out that was good for reluctant readers. The first chapter only has 3 or 4 lines, literally."