Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla

Ivan: The ivanRemarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla
Written by Katherine Applegate, Illustrated by G. Brian Karas

The true story of Ivan, known as the Shopping Mall Gorilla, who lived alone in a small cage for almost 30 years before being relocated to the gorilla habitat at Zoo Atlanta.

Primary Source Pairing:
The life story of Ivan is one that ends in happiness. After his death at Zoo Atlanta, a video montage was created to honor his time there.  When students are viewing primary sources that are in video or movie format, deeper questioning and discussion can take place. Visit the Library of Congress website on Primary Sources for more information.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see and hear.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What was the purpose of this video?
  • Why was this video created?
  • What feelings or ideas does this video communicate?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Ivan video: Zoo Atlanta YouTube channel

For more information about Ivan, including a discussion guide, visit author Katherine Applegate’s website.

To read Ivan’s obituary (of sorts), visit the Seattle Times website.