Just as delightful and touching as the first two books in this series, The One and Only Ruby is such a welcome continuation of the stories about Ivan and Bob. Applegate gives human voices to animals in a way that makes us laugh and cry, warms our hearts, and reveals a sense of truth about their lives. She teaches us, through them, about love and family and loss and hope and courage. The young elephant Ruby was born in Africa but lived with the gorilla Ivan and the small dog Bob at an American shopping mall zoo that degraded them for customer entertainment. Now they all have some dignity and safety in a park sanctuary, where Ruby is the littlest elephant, just getting her tusks as she navigates the responsibilities of growing up among her herd. Illustrator Patricia Castelao treats us to charming pictures that emphasize the body language of these beautiful creatures. The stories are based on true events, and Applegate offers us ways to help real elephants. This series is as unique and entertaining as children’s literature can be.— Tim McCarthy
An instant #1 New York Times bestseller!
From beloved powerhouse author Katherine Applegate comes The One and Only Ruby, starring the adorable baby elephant from the Newbery Medal-winning modern classic The One and Only Ivan and its bestselling sequel, The One and Only Bob.
Ruby’s story picks up a few months after the events of The One and Only Bob. Now living in a wildlife sanctuary, Ruby’s caretaker from the elephant orphanage in Africa where she grew up is visiting. Seeing him again brings back a flood of memories both happy and sad of her life before the circus, and she recounts the time she spent in the African savannah to Ivan and Bob.
In the timeless way that only Katherine Applegate could craft, this highly anticipated novel in verse is the perfect mix of heartfelt and humorous, poignant and sweet. Artist Patricia Castelao returns to the world of Ivan and his friends with gorgeous black-and-white interior illustrations to complete the story.
The One and Only Ruby features first-person narrative; author's use of literary devices (personification, imagery); and story elements (plot, character development, perspective).
This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 8, for independent reading, homeschooling, and sharing in the classroom.
Don’t miss the film adaptation of The One and Only Ivan, now streaming on Disney+!
About the Author
Katherine Applegate is the Newbery Medal-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous books for young readers, including the One and Only series, the Endling series, Crenshaw, Wishtree, the Roscoe Riley Rules chapter books series, and the Animorphs series. She lives with her family in Nevada.
"The story leads readers to ponder the ecological devastation of the ivory trade, the difficulties of being torn from your homeland at an early age, and the horrors of many circuses and zoos. But countering that is also the joy of friendship, humans' kindness toward animals, and the joy of just being a kid.... For fans of Ivan as well as animals in general, this is a special sequel." — Booklist (starred review)
"Applegate yet again shows her ability to explore grief and its lifelong ripples with a subtle tenderness. The direct narrative tone gives depth to her personality: Ruby can be as mischievous and playful as she is stubborn and sometimes angry. Ivan, Bob, and Ruby all share terrible experiences at the hands of ignorant and even cruel humans, and while Applegate shows their current caretakers as compassionate people, she never offers redemption to those that hurt the friends and acknowledges the traumas that will stay with the trio for a long time." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"Ruby’s playful yet sage voice traces the events that brought her from her unspecified African savanna home to the mall where she and Ivan previously lived, and, at last, to the sanctuary. With her trademark blend of frankness and hope, Applegate details dire circumstances facing elephants in the wild, including climate change and poaching, while elucidating their fierce loyalty and highlighting, via the three protagonists’ unforgettable bond, myriad interspecies relationships." — Publishers Weekly
"An elephant glossary and Castelao’s charming, illustrated guide to elephant body language help immerse readers in Ruby’s world. Goofy, playful, and mischievous Ruby is fully dimensional, as she has shown her bravery during the many hardships of her young life. Applegate deftly tempers themes of grief and loss with compassion and humor as Ruby finds her place in the herd.... Certain to steal hearts." — Kirkus Reviews
"Features Applegate’s trademark verse-prose; appealing spot illustrations; and the hallmark themes of the series: adversity, trauma, friendship, resilience, and hope."
— Horn Book Magazine
PRAISE FOR The One and Only Bob: "Good dog Bob. Great to have a best friend.” — Danny DeVito
"Bob proves to everyone (and finally himself) that there is a big heart in that tiny chest…and a brave one too. Applegate picks up where her Newbery Medal winner left off, and fans will be overjoyed to ride along in the head of lovable, self-deprecating Bob on his storm-tossed adventure. His wry doggy observations and attitude are pitch perfect." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Ricocheting between entertainment and poignancy, the dog’s musings on his past and present give way to an urgent chronicle of survival. Applegate deepens the suspense (while, ingeniously, amplifying the humor) with the appearance of Bob’s long-lost sister. The novel’s fluid meshing of loyalty, forgiveness, and trust will leave readers hoping that the author has more one-and-only stories to tell." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"In this story of true friendship, hope, and courage, Bob learns to appreciate and cherish those he loves. Driven by favorite characters from The One and Only Ivan, Bob’s story is delightfully heartfelt and adventurous. Castelao’s illustrations add additional beauty to the story. Readers will be lining up to read this sequel." — School Library Journal
"Explore[s] themes of forgiveness, redemption, and heroism. A playful canine glossary and expressive spot illustrations further enhance the appeal of this sequel." — The Horn Book
"Bob supplies a sharp, lively voice that young readers will enjoy. Fans of the first book will love catching up with cherished friends, and newcomers, too, will enjoy this heartfelt story of survival." — Booklist
"Much like Bob himself, this book has an appealing mix of frenetic energy and somber contemplation. Commentary on animal welfare and climate change is carefully woven into the narrative, giving readers food for thought but never overwhelming what is ultimately a tale of friendship and forgiveness." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"Applegate writes that she was delighted when she heard DeVito would be the voice of Bob in the upcoming film adaptation of Ivan, and we agree: DeVito's voice is Bob’s. This is a heartfelt and entertaining listen." — Booklist (starred review of audio edition)
PRAISE FOR The One and Only Ivan: “Will capture readers’ hearts and never let go. A must have.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
“Animal-loving youngsters and their adults will find plenty of food for thought in Ivan’s extraordinary story.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Discover an animal hero that will take his place with other courageous and beloved animals such as Babe, Mrs. Frisby, Charlotte and Wilbur. Adults reading this aloud with children will find it just as rewarding.” — Shelf Awareness
“Important.” — The Horn Book
“The One and Only Ivan will break your heart—and then, against all odds, mend it again. Such a gentle fantasy is rare; such an evocation of our need to grow, to be free, to become our best selves, is rarer still. In cheering for Ivan and his friends, we cheer for our own humanity and our own possibilities. Read this.” — Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery Honor author of The Wednesday Wars
“A beautifully written, intelligent and brave book. You will never look at the relationship of humans and animals in the same way again. Quite simply, this story is life changing.” — Patricia MacLachlan, Newbery Medal-winning author of Sarah, Plain and Tall
“Kindness, and its ability to change lives, shines through on every single page of this book. Through the eyes of a silverback gorilla, the one and only Ivan, we learn about the power of art, friendship and love. Katherine Applegate’s beautiful, life-affirming story will soar directly from Ivan’s heart into your own. Read it out loud. Read it alone. Read it.” — Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor author of The Underneath
“Both hearbreaking and uplifting, this brave, moving story is perfect for anyone who loves animals and has ever wondering what they think about life inside a cage.” — BookPage