The Bear

The Bear

A Novel

Book - 2014
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The black dog is not scratching. He goes back to his sniffing and huffing and then he starts cracking his bone. Stick and I are huddled tight. . . . It is dark and no Daddy or Mommy and after a while I watch the lids of my eyes close down like jaws.

Told from the point of view of a six-year-old child, The Bear is the story of Anna and her little brother, Stick--two young children forced to fend for themselves in Algonquin Park after a black bear attacks their parents. A gripping and mesmerizing exploration of the child psyche, this is a survival story unlike any other, one that asks what it takes to survive in the wilderness and what happens when predation comes from within.
Publisher: Toronto :, Doubleday Canada,, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780385679022
Branch Call Number: F CAM
Characteristics: xiii, 221 pages ; 21 cm


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This book is a suspenseful fast read and I really enjoyed it. Canadian author. It’s about two very young children surviving in the wilderness after a bear attack on the family’s campsite. (submitted by MB)

Sep 29, 2016

Although loosely based on a true story, as a reader it would be difficult to ascertain where fact meets fiction. Of course the children in the story were added and even though other reviews stated readers found Anna's storytelling too old for her age, I found it to be believable. I loved Anna and Stick. I cried through parts of this book, the emotions of many of the characters were so very real for me and the ending was just what I needed to know it was all ok.

Sep 15, 2015

I have to agree with the other reviewers here. This book was so hard to follow. I just wanted to read what happened in the present. I skipped over all the jumping around and read the whole book in an hour. The details were a bit far fetched. I normally love stories like this as I love camping, but I wouldn't recommend this one.

Aug 17, 2015

I felt sometimes it was frustrating to follow, as the whole story is through a 5 year old mind. Her mind does a lot of comparison to things that has happened to her to the current situation. I found it frustrating getting pulled from the main story line of their current situation. I understand childrens minds tend to wander and compare, but not to that extent.

Jun 08, 2015

A very compelling story but I agree with other readers, the narration by a five year old child poses a bit of a barrier to its telling. I found myself skimming over a lot of the narration to get on with the plot. The beginning and especially the end of the story are much more satisfying to read. I read The Room as well and I did not find the child narration in that novel as much as an obstacle as it is in this one. Still, a worthy read. A real feat of imagination.

Feb 23, 2015

This was pretty good. I liked the story but sometimes it is irritating to read a child narrator. I thought the same when I read Room by Emma Donoghue. If that doesn't bother you than you should enjoy the story.

Sep 04, 2014

It's always difficult to pull off a child narrator, and THE BEAR is far less successful than the novel many readers will compare it to, ROOM.

For me, too much of this novel was implausible: that there is a cooler big enough to fit a five-year-old and a two-year old; that the bear would have left the children in the partially open cooler alone; that Anna, whose parents take her backcountry camping, doesn't know what a bear is; that we are supposed to believe Anna is naive enough to not understand what happened to her father but savvy enough to keep a two-year-old alive with no food or water and a major case of poison ivy for several days.

What could have excelled as a short story instead falls incredibly flat as a novel.

I agree with Merryman5 comment below. The voice of a 5 year old is not sustainable for a whole book, Having a lot of experience with children myself, I felt the mind of the 5 year old was now always accurately portrayed, more professional input by a speech language path or child psychologist would have improved accuracy of child's point of view. Given the girl's survival skills as portrayed, there is no way the 2 year old could have survived with his sister... she should have been imbued with more empathy for her brother to help the reader through the believability of this plot.

Aug 06, 2014

As someone who frequently went back country hiking before I had children I thought I would like this book. Instead I found the story heart breaking. As I am a mother of two young children there were tears streaming down my cheeks as the young main character describes her mother sending her across a lake to save her and her brother's life. Maybe I am oversensitive to the topic but it gave me nightmares. I could not get past the basic story to dig deeper as I found the subject matter so tragic.

Jul 27, 2014

Powerful story of 2 young children whose parents were killed by a bear. They are told to stay inside a cooler by their dying mother. At that point, the 5 year old girl begins to relate what she hears, sees and does. Her voice is very believable. This is a wonderful read and I loved the ending.

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