Once upon a time, there was a book about Ivan

I am in awe of Katherine Applegate as a storyteller and writer.

Yesterday after I started reading it, I tweeted this comment:

On page 10 of Ivan – I love the way he talks about the ways humans waste words and yet Katherine Applegate is using such perfect language.

In the evening I tweeted this,

Thinking that I’m going to be staying up to finish Ivan, his character is so beautifully written, he had his own voice & tone after 2 pages

I did stay up an finish it. I cried – yes, really. I talked to the characters. And I sat with my eyes closed when I finished trying to process the exquisite writing and storytelling.

Just a few things I love about this book:

  • the connection between Julia and Ivan. I love that she really gets him, that she “listens” with all of her artist self in a very authentic and believable way.
  • I love the character of Bob. I love how he got his name and that he acts like he doesn’t have a home, but really does. I love that what a subtle, yet huge cheerleader he is for Ivan.
  • I love the illustrations that are sprinkled throughout. They are stunning on their own and really reminded me of the importance of art throughout the story. They helped to capture the artist identities of both Ivan and Julia.
  • I love how Ivan remembers… it doesn’t happen instantly, but slowly and because of his desire to help and support Ruby. I love that the remembering doesn’t happen all at once and that he doesn’t fight it. I love that it is all foreshadowed by Stella who says, “Memories are precious, they help tell us who we are.”

There are many more. I know that this book is going to stay with me for a long time. Thank you Katherine Applegate for sharing Ivan’s story with us and for being a human who doesn’t waste words.

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2 thoughts on “Once upon a time, there was a book about Ivan

  1. Pingback: It’s Monday! What are You Reading? | Children's Literature Crossroads

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