Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself. This acclaimed middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. Having spent 27 years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle.
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Publishing Info: Scholastic Paperbacks, January But we needed a break. You know, some time off from the superhero stuff. A chance to act like normal kids. Well — as normal as four kids who can morph, a hawk, and an alien can be. Everything should have been cool. Now Rachel is missing. Tobias, Cassie, Marco, and Ax were there, too. Even Rachel has some info to add. So go ahead and check this out. It could mean the difference between life and death.
Or worse…. Plot: Visser Three has a new pet and it hunts by sensing the energy given off when someone morphs. This, obviously, spells trouble for the Animorphs who must race to find a way to take out this strange creature all while their major advantage, their morphing ability, is also now their greatest weakness. Rachel ends up with amnesia, just to throw another wrench in the gears. There is a lot of action in this book, racing away from the Veleek, morphing different animals to see how the Veleek reacts, getting captured on Yeerk ships, and some more ocean action towards the end when they find a way to kill the beast.
I think there ends up being around 4 or so of them? The book is longer than the typical books in the series and features chapters from the perspectives of all the Animorphs. The stakes just never seem very high, and so far, this has been my least favorite book in the series. However, fun was still to be had in parts, so onwards! Rachel has amnesia. Cassie saves the day. Marco and Ax are abducted. And Jake…becomes a tiger?
Towards the end there is some commentary that Jake is the type of person who will become president some day due to his ability to make the necessary tough decisions, even when those decisions involve sending people he cares about Cassie into danger.
But it must speak to a deep truth about her character, some type of nature vs. She just knows that she can become a grizzly. The whole amnesia thing was a bit strange, though, really. There was no actual impact on the story due to this, so it mostly just felt like an added story line that went nowhere.
But…oh well, I still love Rachel and enjoyed watching her confront the horror of their whole situation for the first time again.
Not only does he get way fewer chapters than the rest of them I believe he even had less than Ax! I have to think that it was around this point that Applegate started playing around with options for getting Tobias back in the game.
So to kill two birds with one stone, Cassie goes on a ride on Elephant! Rachel and gives her a quick run through of their history. The mental image of Cassie riding along on Elephant! Rachel is just precious. Besties forever! But, after a moment of weakness in the middle of the book that leaves Cassie questioning herself, she is the crux to the whole story. Turns out that when Marco volunteers for this little jaunt, his driving experience came from video games.
Later the scene devolves into Marco continuing to drive, only this time he has Tiger! Jake in the back of the truck. They escape by jumping out an open hatch, essentially. Come to think of it, a disproportionate amount of time in this book is spent with various Animorphs plummeting through the air desperately trying to morph. And, more importantly, gotten off alive, which is quite the feat!
I also have to suspect that Ax is going to continue to play a pretty strong role in continuing the charade that the Animorphs are all Andalite warriors. In this book, Visser Three mentions that some of the Yeerks had begun to become suspicious that humans may be involved, but here Ax is! Body Horror Moment: Two come to mind immediately, both for poor Rachel.
Now the descriptions are as nasty as ever about what midpoints in morphs are like random patches of skin here, feathers there, talons sticking out of legs , but what makes it worse is that Rachel, at this point, has no memory! So the horror of waking up to find your body in that condition with no context for it?? Couples Watch! She also remembers Cassie and Tobias first when she begins having flashes of memory. Cassie also mentions that Jake can read her facial expressions better than anyone else later in the book.
Jake shows up again in this book. I mean, the guy has, outloud! So that kind of struck home about the reality of what would happen if one of their missions ended badly. Pool parties. Teenage gossip. Immature practical jokes. I think this exchange proves why I always hone in on how similar Rachel and Marco really are to how they approach the war.
Essentially the same way, but Marco can resist quipping. So no points for anyone! Rating: This was a fun first attempt at a book told from the perspectives of all the characters. I remember when this book came out, I was so excited about a book that shared viewpoints from all the characters. I was always fascinated with how this book was a longer book, yet with all the overlaps, it covers a much shorter period of time, or rather a much reduced series of events, while the other character focused books were shorter but because of the focus could go through so many more story events.
I loved this book, and re-reading it, I did come to realize the lack of distribution in character contributions as you had mentioned, but I contrastingly feel like it was still fairly well developed. Though I have not re-read the other megamorphs yet, and really do not remember them to any length of detail, I believe each chapter is well planned to bring up valuable insights to the overarching story. Though Rachel deals with amnesia for a majority of the book, I feel it is less about adding to the main plot line and more about providing causality to the main plot line.
So while I agree her portions of the book do not build up the main plot thread, I believe it lays the foundation, or at least some support beams, for the main plot thread to be built upon. In all honesty, my biggest head scratcher for this book is actually the abandoned house. Thank you so much for creating this blog. As I mentioned in one of my other comments, I love discussing these books, as I was a fanatic of Animorphs when I was a kid, and I still believe it is one of the most mature, action packed, and beautiful concepts of a book series geared toward a young adult audience.
Applegate has always fascinated me with her talent, and I was a huge fan of her Everworld series too, though it was much shorter lived. Like Like. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Or worse… Narrator: Everyone! Share this: Twitter Facebook. Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:.
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The Andalite's Gift
A short comment for every book of the series until I get a chance to re-read them. All three of my sons and I loved this series and read every single book - I even bought every single book most, but The Andalite's Gift Animorphs Megamorphs 1. We never should have done it. But we needed a break.
Publishing Info: Scholastic Paperbacks, January But we needed a break. You know, some time off from the superhero stuff. A chance to act like normal kids.
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