BOOK REVIEW: The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate

”Maybe it’s easier to forgive others once you’ve learned to forgive yourself.”

Not gonna lie here, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Bob since the end of 2019; but I didn’t purchase a copy until now because I was terrified that it wouldn’t live up to the utter amazingness that is The One and Only Ivan. After watching the Disney+ film of Ivan’s installment, however {if you haven’t seen it yet, stop what you’re doing and go watch. it. now.}, I knew that I needed more Bob in my life, and here we are.

Broken out into four parts, The One and Only Bob gives us the perspective of Bob, the tiny albeit feisty terrier who once shared a cage with the infamous Ivan. Today, Bob has left behind the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade and taken up residence with Julia and George, who dote on him and take him on frequent trips to visit Ivan and Ruby at their new home at a local zoo. Which is where Bob is when a life-changing hurricane-meets-tornado hits, forcing every animal, friend or foe, to put their differences aside and band together to survive.

In all truth, Parts 1 and 2, while enjoyable, were not the standouts for The One and Only Bob; serving mainly as an update on the characters we grew to love in its predecessor, and giving only the slimmest glimpse into Bob’s past. The past that, even now, he has been unable to put behind him enough to fully trust humans. The true story begins within the pages of Parts 3 and 4, when Bob finally feels confident enough to show his vulnerable side, revealing chunks of his puppyhood and subsequent mistreatment by the hands of humans to reflect on how those incidences shaped him into the dynamite dog he is today; and allowing him the chance to break down the barriers that were making him incapable of full love.

What’s remarkable about Katherine Applegate is her ability to present truly heavy topics in a format that is accessible, understandable, and virtually considered light reading for even the tiniest of readers. She introduces the concept of animal rights and kindness in a way that leaves such an impression on you – whether you are 4 or 94; and that, my friends, is talent.

Yes, this is labeled as a middle grade book, but I cannot recommend it enough. The reading is quick {I finished it in its entirety in less than 2 hours}; but the characters live on in your mind {and heart!} long after the last page is turned. While you will find no spoilers here, I will say that the ending put the biggest smile on my face, and that smile appears time and time again whenever I think of this book. Please don’t miss this one.

Star Rating: *****



ellie said...

Applegate is always a favorite! Sounds like a wonderful book for gift-giving! Awesome review!

Caitlin'nMegan said...

Sounds delightful! Love her work!

Better Left Unsaid said...

Beautiful review! Sounds like a wonderful read!

R's Rue said...

Going to purchase this. Thank you

Why Girls Are Weird said...

Totally need to read this!

R's Rue said...

How are you sweet friend?

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