As part of my professional development goals, I tried to read a bunch of the Newbery Medal winners in March, and that’s how I finally read The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Applegate is an author I’ve read my whole life–from the Animorphs to the beach books to now, and now The One and Only Ivan is not only becoming a movie, it’s got a sequel: The One and Only Bob.
While the One and Only Ivan follows the story of Ivan the gorilla and his efforts to save himself and Ruby from the roadside zoo mall thing (a little more disturbing after watching Tiger King, tbh), The One and Only Bob follows his little dog friend, Bob, who moves in with Julia after Ivan and Ruby leave the mall. As Bob adjusts to being a pet, he’s faced with his own past and impending disaster when a tornado comes to town and leaves the zoo, the pound, and everyone involved in a state of panic. Can Bob put aside his past to preserve his new life? Will he risk it all for the ones he loves?
Like The One and Only Ivan, I cried at the end of this book. Seriously, I won’t spoil it here, but the final page made me CRY LIKE A BABY. It’s sweet, sweet sweet. If you like animal stories, unique POVs, and more, you’ll want to read this book. The disaster is a great way for Applegate to turn the tides on what the reader expects, and Bob’s voice, like Ivan’s, is unique and feels very “dog.” Of course, reading about animals experiencing less than perfect lives is super stressful and sad (aka, reading this and watching Tiger King made me sad for like three days) and yet, there’s such an uplifting ending here that it made it all worth it.
The One and Only Bob is on sale everywhere books are sold May 5, 2020