“With a huff, the bear backed away from the bank, and now I could clearly see that he’d made his own marks in the smooth soil.
He’d written his own word, plain as day, easy to read.
‘Oh boy,’ I said.”
In Northern Idaho, a 13-year-old boy who recently lost his mother meets a bear near his house and they share a connection. He only thinks about sharing his secret to impress a girl, until the bear writes his name in the dirt. The bear – Emory – seems to have a message to share. Although his relationship with his dad has been strained since his mother passed away, he tells his father and is relieved when his father believes him. But, despite the bear’s friendliness, winter is coming and the bear will need to hibernate.
The story is told from the point of view of Charlie as an adult. It is presented like a true story, although it may have been made up to ease Charlie’s mind as he grieved his mother. He grows up to be a bear expert and would never tell anyone to do what he did with the bear – feed it, hug it and talk to it. When the bear gives its message to the world, it speaks to Charlie most of all. The ending is bittersweet, but everyone’s life is better for having met the bear.
I enjoyed this book, although I like Cameron’s dog books better. The dog books focused on a dog’s journey through life and this book dealt with one person’s interaction with a bear. I think it is a good story for junior high readers and older.
Have you read any W. Bruce Cameron books? Which is your favorite? Comment below!