Author: Gold, Hannah
There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At least, that's what April's father tells her. But one night, April catches a glimpse of something distinctly bear shaped loping across the horizon. A polar bear who shouldn't be there--who is hungry, lonely, and a long way from home. As their unlikely bond grows, April is determined to save her new friend--and so begins the biggest and most important journey of her life.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.60
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 510598
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2021 Gr 3–5—A novel that immerses the reader headfirst into the cold, bare landscape of the Arctic melting under the effects of climate change. Young April and her scientist father travel to Bear Island for his research. Ironically, no bears are believed to be left. That is, until April catches a glimpse of a malnourished polar bear. They form a friendship as April nurses him back to health. She discovers that he has been stranded on the island for many years and devises a plan to get him home to Svalbard before her time in the North comes to an end. Gold's debut middle grade novel is a bold, unapologetic look into the devastating effects of climate change and its impact on wildlife. Scientific facts and statistics are seamleassly integrated into the narrative, strengthening the book's urgent tone. While the themes are clear and compelling, certain plot points remain nebulous, such as how April is able to communicate so well with the bear (a gift briefly tied to her late mother) or how her father seems unconcerned with her wandering the island alone all day. These small details will likely not bother young readers, who will be eager to find out if Bear makes his way home. Sections of the book are divided by gentle black-and-white illustrations that help bring April's story to life. The author includes a helpful and informative note at the end about the real Bear Island she used as inspiration. VERDICT A fast-paced novel that will awaken or strengthen readers' concern for their environment and that has the potential to act as a powerful discussion tool in classrooms and book clubs.—Katherine Hickey, Metropolitan Lib. Syst., Oklahoma City - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.