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PinballWizard
03-05-2014, 01:54 PM
Age Range:This book can be read and enjoyed by a wide range. My 5th grader devoured it in 2 days. My 3rd grader took a little longer but loved it as well. I have had success using it with reluctant writers and readers in the 8th grade range.

What's to Love: It is based on a true story, but told from the point of view of the gorilla, Ivan. This keeps the harsh content (animals in captivity being treated cruelly) a bit more subdued. It's important and noted, but it's told from a more limited, innocent understanding. The animal characters are animals. They do not become too human in their thoughts and actions. It brings up great discussion topics: animal rights, changes in social attitudes, family connections and responsibilities, commercialism. For literature study, it offers interesting discussions about point of view and using a foil and other minor characters to illuminate the protagonist's strengths and weaknesses. The sentences are short and easy to digest. The vocabulary is do-able but isn't babyish. Because it's based on a true story, it's fun to do follow-up research on the real Ivan to compare and contrast information.

What's to Complain About: Because it's told from Ivan's point of view, the chapters can seem short and choppy to more advanced readers. My 5th grader "got it" that it made sense for Ivan's writing to appear this way and was able to move past this issue with one mention of it. It can be a little preachy at times about animal rights. It has a clear point of view here and it's stated pretty directly. If your view matches, you'll love it; if your view doesn't match, you might roll your eyes a bit in places. The human characters are a little flat. The focus is the animals, though.

farrarwilliams
03-05-2014, 06:11 PM
It made a perfect independent read for my boys. Quick read, easy to do, yet lots to discuss.

LAR
03-06-2014, 04:46 PM
I read this book to the girls during lunch and literature. We all loved it. Good discussion and many tears.

JenRay
03-06-2014, 06:31 PM
DD just finished reading it independently. She liked it, but this discussion has me wondering if I should read it too, so we can talk about it. She reads so voraciously that I can't possibly keep up.

farrarwilliams
03-06-2014, 07:15 PM
It's worth reading, Jen. There's nothing inappropriate, but it's a very quick read and there are some interesting issues worth talking about in it.

JenRay
03-06-2014, 08:07 PM
It's worth reading, Jen. There's nothing inappropriate, but it's a very quick read and there are some interesting issues worth talking about in it.
Thanks for the input, Farrar.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is the family read-aloud right now. Oh my, how we are all loving this book!