All who RSVP will receive these questions as a PDF.
Please mark examples in your text to share with the group!
How does Applegate use Ivan’s senses to bring the settings of the story to life for readers?
How does the author introduce Ivan’s desires? His conflicts/obstacles?
How have Ivan’s friendships shaped his character? How do they continue to shape it?
How has Ivan’s time in the Big Top Mall affected his gorilla-ness?
How does Ivan’s character change over the course of the story?
Voice / Dialogue
How does Ivan’s vocabulary reflect his being a gorilla? How does it reflect his being a captive of humans?
How does the author distinguish the voices of characters — Ivan, Mack, Bob, Stella, Ruby, Julia?
Although Ivan mentions sharing stories with the zoo gorillas (p. 288), once Ivan is at the zoo, the author doesn’t include any dialogue among the gorillas. How does this affect your reading of this part of the story?
How would you describe the plot of Ivan: its shape, its divisions, its important moments?
Applegate uses very short paragraphs and chapters. How does this affect the reading of the story? Does it reflect Ivan’s character and/or voice?
Ivan tells his own story. How might third-person narration have affected the story?
A few themes of the story include isolation, personal identity, and friendship. What other themes stood out to you? How early did the author introduce the themes? How did she carry them from scene to scene?