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Gentle Ben
 
by
Walt Morey
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Gentle Ben

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  2,765 ratings  ·  106 reviews
The Alaskan wilderness is a lonely place for Mark Andersen, especially after the death of his older brother, Jamie. But in time Mark finds someone else to love--Ben, an Alaskan brown bear so huge that no one else dares come near him. Gentle Ben has been a favorite of readers of all ages for 25 years, and is a timeless story of a rare friendship. An ALA Notable Book.
Hardback, 191 pages
Published 1965 by E.P.Dutton & Company
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lorena
I liked the idea of this book, and I really liked the first few chapters. The kids lost interest a bit through the middle, and I had to encourage them along, and then the last third of the book picked up again. I like the writing style well enough, but allow me to explain the low rating.

1. Seeing as we are moving to Alaska, I don't want the kids to learn that bears are friendly pets. Repeatedly throughout the story, anyone who tries to say that Mark's family ought to be cautious is ridiculed. I
...more
Andrew Morrarty
I really like the book this book was about a little kid named mark and he had found a bear that had been tamed so decided to train to not attack people so he ask is perents to keep the bear but they said no to keeping the bear but later on they had been trying to get red of the bear but it would not leave because he had trained it to stay with him and the perents had decided to keep the bear so later on in the book he had an away but then he had been found by his freinds.later on in the book the ...more
Vlad
As a story, "Gentle Ben" is simply boring and poorly written. While it's 192 pages long, the middle 130 pages of the story are completely wasted.

Only the first 30 pages, where Mark befriends a bear named "Gentle Ben", and the last 30 pages, where said bear rescues his father, have any impact on the story. Everything in between is just tawdry filler, and can be safely ignored.

There is nothing exceptional about the friendship or rescue, either. For some reason, a wild bear acts more diffidently
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Linda Todd
This book I read when I was younger than I am now and loved the story then loved reading this story to my sisters when they where unwell they loved it also so all in all all of us loved this fabulous story it toke you to another place so all said and done keep smiling and happy reading to all with love from wee me.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Brian Hiebert
I like the book because when he got the his bear taken away and then they found it and that made me happy.
Chris
it was a good book
Shyla
At a time when I was reading nothing but Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High and such my uncle knowing I was an avid reader got this book for me. He told me it had been a favorite of his when he was young. I took one look at the cover, a boy and a bear, and thought oh joy I'm sure I can relate to this. That is major sarcasm there in case you didn't notice. Well one day when I was desperate for reading material I dug this out of the deep dark corner I had thrown it in and began to read. Now I ...more
Larrullo
We read this as a family. The little people didn't really get into it...our six year old's attention would spark here and there and she listened to and liked all parts involving the bear...Ben...and she has asked for a bear for a pet several times since reading it...but much of the book was over her head.

My husband on the other hand...who generally hates fiction and has little use for most stories...loved the book and asked me to keep reading chapter after chapter every night until the book was
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Eden
Mark has been lonely, especially since the death of his older brother. But soon Mark befriends Ben, a brown bear whose owner has not really taken care of him.

Mark starts to spend time with Ben after school and feed him. If only Ben could be his, how Mark wishes Ben could be his. And one day Mark's wish comes true.

When I was started this book, I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not. I was pleasantly surprised. I really liked this book. The descriptions of Alaska and the wild are great.

I just though
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wally
and yet another story i recall from the ago...how long have i been a member here now? three years lacking but two months? the edition i read had a different cover, ben standing tall in the tall grass, the youth sitting down...so that ben looked like he was taller somehow.

anyone remember the television show from yay ago? maybe the same title? memory is fuzzy, me...but wasn't dennis weaver the boy's father/game warden...weaver did play a game warden...memory. must be the onset of that disease that
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Isaac Badejo
honestly this book was the best I have read out of all of them this year I liked how ben and mark had a real relationship together and I liked how he was really descriptive in this book this book also has lots of action scenes and some sad scenes I would recommend this book to people that half a thing about animals and fiction also I liked this book mostly because the relationship between mark and ben the bear I would rate this 4 of 5 stars.
Kay Pelham
I knew of the old television show before reading this book, but knew nothing more than that it was about a boy and a tame bear. I had in my mind that it took place in the northeast. It actually takes place in Alaska before statehood, and involves many aspects of the salmon industry. This one had me crying from the start as the boy and his father are working through a hard relationship. There are several stories within stories; each very engagingly told. The question remains - could you really ha ...more
Nataly Barakezyan
I read this book because I saw the cover and thought it would be cool to read. This book is about a boy who loses his brother and befriends a bear to cope. The bear was going to be killed because he attacked his former owner. Mark the bears owner sees that it is better for the both of them to send Ben away. Later, Mark and his family are reunited with the bear and adopt him. My favorite quote from the book is "Spring was charging full tilt toward the short northern summer with its maximum twenty ...more
Dianasanderson
I didn't know if I would like this book. I figured it would be a little boring, but I was pleasantly surprised. Until the last page, I wondered what would happen to Ben. If you like stories about growing up, animals, or descriptions of nature, you'll enjoy this one.
Tanya Larose
I was a huge fan of animal stories as a kid growing up in the 1970s. I remember the television series from the 1960s but I didn't even realize that there was a novel called Gentle Ben until I came across a copy in a local thrift store.

I must say it was quite an enjoyable read and stands the test of time. The friendship between a young boy and a huge Alaskan Brown bear warms the heart and unlike an earlier reviewer, I praise the ending of the tale. I am a avid supporter of animal rights and gun c
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Tkjtwmr
Great story but so out of the reality of today that it must be a confusing read for children. Reading it as an adult I saw the pitfalls in the main character's actions but would worry that children may not.
Laura
I loved this story as a child. The idea of having a bear as a pet sent chills of excitement down my back. This is the story of Mark Anderson and his pet grizzly bear, Ben, who is unusually ‘gentle’. Throughout the book their friendship strengthens until the tragic day when Mark must sacrifice Ben for the sake of the town’s safety. But Mark and Ben’s adventures are not over. When Mark vacations to the very island upon which Ben has been placed, the tension culminates – especially since a big gam ...more
Kevin
9. If you could ask any character a question, what sould you ask? If you could ask the author a question, what might that be? Wcplain why you chose these question.

Answer: Why ben doesn't hurt Mark because the author wrote Ben was very fierce.

13. It is not unusual to wish that our lives were more like the lives of characters in stories. How would you change your own real life to be more like the world of your story?

Answer: I don't think so because in the real life, bear is very fierce. In this s
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Claire
I can vividly remember scanning the shelves of my middle school library, looking for something good to read. As an Animal Planet addict in my younger years, this book looked perfect. It is filled cover to cover with the sweet dreams of many kids--to own and to be loved by a wild animal, to connect with something that no one else can or understands, and to have (of course) a large and very much real teddy bear. If you are a child or if you still are connected to your inner one, pick it up and spe ...more
Emily Hazewinkel
Every nine weeks my children are assigned two books to read for school. They are then to write a book report or as we call them "boni libre" and turn them in. With two of my four kids in school reading and doing book reports plus my own reading I sometimes don't think I'll read their books. But this was such a good book. All about a boy and his pet and growing pains in-between. If you have a young boy, please have him read this. Yes having a pet bear,and a tame and gentle one to boot as a pet, i ...more
Randy
Read this at least 4 or 5 times...wonder if I'd like it as much now?
Swhe641200
7.2014 swbook group. Ok book. Slow idealistic
Emily
This was our 'family reading' for our animals unit. There were some aspects of it that I really loved. I loved the relationships and the believable, down-to-earth characters. I loved that bear! I think it may have been just a little bit over the heads of my younger kids--or a bit too much for them (such as guys being attacked by bears or people trying to get a bear to drink beer, or people drowning in boat accidents, etc.), although they seemed to enjoy it every once in a while. A good book, tho ...more
Marnie Bebej
Gentle Ben is the story of a boy and his bear. It's one of those typical kids books best friends, happy as can be, and then something happens to ruin the dream world they were living in. Will they or won't they get that happiness back. I'm a sap I love these stories and I cry every time :o) If you like books like this or want to start your kids off reading them I recommend Gentle Ben. It's a sweet easy read that's straight forward and would be easy to understand for a reader just starting out or ...more
Ang
Great book for 10-11 year old boys.
Rachel
The kids and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I didn't remember much about the book from when I read it as a kid. I started to get concerned half way through, afraid that the end might not be so....nice. Visions of crying kids, grieving Ben raced through my head......

Endearing, coming of age story about a boy and his pet Brownie. A great read for animal lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Every night when it was time to close the book, the kids begged for, "just one more page!" I'm loving this re
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Lucinda
There are so many books that I would never read if it weren't for my two boys. We are reading many books and studying the topic of honesty and this book gave us a chance to look at the kinds of things people will do to each other just to earn a dollar. On the other hand, there were also many good people that would prefer to go through hard times rather than be dishonest. It was a touching book that kept us on the edge of our seats at the end of each chapter. We all loved it!
Suzanne Jordan
Mark befriends a brown bear, Ben, locked up in a shed near his house in Alaska. While Ben and Mark share a special relationship, unusual between man and bear, others in the town don't like the idea of having a wild bear around. Throughout the story, Mark and his family work together to keep Ben safe from some of the townspeople. Both heart-wrenching and heart-warming, Gentle Ben brings a tale of perseverance, adventure, and true friendship.
Linda Lipko
What a delightful comforting read! This is a wonderful tale of boy, a brown bear, an Alaskan wilderness, a loving set of parents, a wonderful description of salmon fishing and the beauty of finding joy in the special relationship of an animal and a child.

This book fits the category of I wish I would have read this when I was a child. Found in 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up, I'm glad I paid attention to this listing.
Karen Fallot
I really enjoyed this story; but a review for children:
Content contains emotional talk of Mark’s brother’s death, death of a dear family friend and Mark’s father’s quick-tempered manner, though he softens considerably and their relationship deepens throughout the book. Language issues consist of twice using God’s name when afraid by the “villain” and an obscure reference to Evolution near the end. Well-written and engaging.
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Gentle Ben 1 16 Feb 05, 2008 01:59PM  
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