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The Bears' House

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Although she sucks her thumb, smells bad, and loses herself in the make-believe world of the three bears' dollhouse, ten-year-old Fran knows how to take care of her baby sister better than anybody else.
Paperback, 78 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Puffin (first published October 1st 1971)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 200)
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I was strangely obsessed with this book in elementary school
I borrowed this book from the library multiple times in elementary school. I don't recall why I loved this sad book so much, but it was one of my favorites from my early reading days.
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After the birth of her last child, Mrs. Smith succumbs to depression and mental illness. One day, Mr. Smith leaves his wife and five children; the oldest child is twelve and the youngest is just a few months-old. Fran Ellen, a fourth-grader, finds solace in thumb-sucking and in the bear’s house at the back of Miss Thompson’s classroom. She takes her math book home so that she can be the first one finished each day. This gives her time to lose herself in the fantasy world of the three toy bears t ...more
Miss Kitty
Oh good gravy, I'd forgotten how depressing this book was until I re-read it. That's not to say that the book isn't worth reading, because it completely is. While reading it in my late mid-thirties, I was struck by how well Sachs handles a child's perception of hard-core themes like ostracism, bullying, abandonment, and depression. The last few sentences are more sob-inducing than anything I've ever seen on the Lifetime or Hallmark channels and they won't even stimulate your gag reflex! I rememb ...more
Mar 20, 2014 Moem marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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This reminded me of The Hundred Dresses. It was in Jim Trelease's read aloud handbook
Emma Hofer
Poverty looks different to everyone. Hearing about it from the perspective of a young girl, who finds her escape in a "bear house", brings a new perspective on the situation. What a wonderful story!
Alexandra Mickey
This book was read to me in college at Indiana Wesleyan University as a read aloud. During our discussions we talked about Multiculturally critiquing books by diversity and range of representation, avoidance of stereotypes, language considerations, and perspective of the book. All were talked about and discussed in our classroom. This book would be a wonderful way to engage the class in a read aloud.
Amanda Funnell
My college education class read this book. As a future educator, I was heartbroken and lived in the story alongside FranEllen. Even so, I loved this book for me more so than I think I would for the sake of my students. If you are trying to introduce the reality of poverty and its effects to your students, though, this would be a marvelous way to do so.
Michael Beblowski
A short novel about a young girl who detaches from the bleak conditions of her impoverished childhood, her social alienation and her clinically depressed mother who refuses to leave her bed, by imagining that she is safe and loved by the goldielocks doll and bear family in her teacher's dollhouse. There is an equally depressing sequel for anyone curious about what happens in the aftermath of "the Bear's House."
I read this book in 3rd grade. It was my teachers book and a big deal for me. I love this book to this day. This book both made me fall in love with reading it also caused me to commit my first crime. I stole this book from my teacher because I loved it so much. I told her later on and she laughed. Amazing book. I recommend it to anyone:)
I remember reading this book in school when i was in about 4 fourth grade. I do not recall my thought on it back then. As an adult reading now i thought it was okay. It was sad and maybe it should have been written for a slightly older readers because i thought it was too short and could have fleshed out the story more.
Lovely book that teaches compassion
Maybe a bit much for young children. Made me cry to hear about this poor girls life. I understand some kids may realate, but this book should be left up to the parents.
sad story about a girl with a rough homelife who dreams away her time on the dollhouse at school. sad. sadder as an adult than when i read it at age 10.
Melancholy story of a poor girl who daydream over a dollhouse at school. Depressing but poignant.
it was a cute book when i read it in 5th grade! and sad too. my first full chapter book i read
Re-reading books from childhood. This one is definitely more sad than I remember.
Kristin Sprague
real life is sad, but we have to learn and grow from it.
Another one of my favorite books from when I was younger.
familiarity with the body of children's literature
Compact story of a family at risk
Kate Myers
A read worth the tears I shed...
Made me cry.
Violet B
Violet B marked it as to-read
Mar 29, 2015
Hannah marked it as to-read
Mar 10, 2015
Patti Barker
Patti Barker marked it as to-read
Mar 08, 2015
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