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Gentle Ben

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  3,972 Ratings  ·  147 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.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 1st 1992 by Puffin Books (first published 1965)
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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
I thought, as I tend to do too often, that this would center primarily around the boy and the bear; not so. You meet and love the Anderson family, (the mother, Ellen, was my favorite! ) and other characters, good and bad,mother family friends... And Morey's style of writing is family-orientated, and his love for the woods and living beasts is very evident. He has feelings for his characters. It was altogether very engaging.:)
Linda Todd
Mar 25, 2014 Linda Todd rated it it was amazing
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
Andrew Morrarty
Oct 21, 2014 Andrew Morrarty rated it it was amazing
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
Ryann Lund
Jan 26, 2017 Ryann Lund rated it it was amazing
This is a book about a bear named Ben, and as boy named mark. They are best friends until the village gets scared of tame Ben. Mark has to let Ben go into the wild. Ben is the biggest bear in the wild. And he had the best fishing spot on the stream. He eventually findes mark again and they are friends again.
Anthony B
Gentle Ben is a really cool book about a boy and his pet bear. They live in Orca city and in order to buy Ben as his pet, Mark has to learn how to do a lot of responsebiles. Earn money and get a lot of salmon for Ben so Ben could eat fish and not stale bread. Ben will have to have light in his shed as well
Brian Hiebert
Jun 01, 2012 Brian Hiebert rated it it was amazing
I like the book because when he got the his bear taken away and then they found it and that made me happy.
Jun 01, 2012 Chris rated it it was amazing
it was a good book
Karin Jenkins
Oct 22, 2016 Karin Jenkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My brother who hardly read as a child said this book captivated him at about age 12. I read it and loved it and can't wait to use it in homeschool for my 11 year old son.
May 12, 2017 SFrick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animal-classics
Never saw the movie, nor saw (at least I don't think so) the TV show and Wish there was a sequel!.
The one character I despised was Fog Hanson. Nor did I like Mud Hole Jones, Mr. out for a Profit person.
I could have sworn that Clearwater, a close friend of the Anderson family, who worked the Far North
boat with Karl Andersen, was going to survive and wished that he had.
Loved it and would recommend reading Gentle Ben, for a person of any age.
Donna Bijas
3.5 stars for an enjoyable tale of Gentle Ben and his boy Mark and Mark's family. Giant brown bear tamed but still considered dangerous, Mark's love of Ben and his ability to keep him safe stand out in this short, vividly written book. Great kids read too.
Jan 21, 2017 Malinda rated it really liked it
My boys loved reading this with me and we all decided that we want a pet bear.
P.S. Winn
Feb 19, 2017 P.S. Winn rated it really liked it
The story of Mark Anderson and an unusual friend, will touch readers and is a great story to share.
Dec 13, 2011 Larrullo rated it really liked it
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
Mar 24, 2010 Shyla rated it liked it
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
Jul 08, 2013 wally rated it liked it
Shelves: morey
and yet another story i recall from the 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 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
Lexis Peterson
Mar 23, 2015 Lexis Peterson rated it it was amazing

Introduce the book.
gentle ben was an amazing book about a special bond of a giant bear and his owner who took ben in,

Tell about the book, but don’t give away the ending!
gentle ben was a book of how a bear had come into town and tried to hurt very many people. As the government of the town wanted to kill this bear, the a teenager takes this bear in and tries to tame it as the boy goes threw many problems with the bear they still love each other until the very end.

Tell about your favorite part of
Jun 14, 2013 Eden rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
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
Sep 14, 2010 Tarissa rated it it was amazing
"Gentle Ben" is a story about a boy and his longing to tame a wild bear that he can’t have.

Mark is a young boy who lives in Alaskan Territory (before it became a state). The thing that he desires most is to be friends with Ben, an Alaskan brown bear, who has been chained up in Fog Benson’s shed for 5 dreadful years. Mark’s parents do not approve of befriending this wild, giant mammal, for fear of their son’s safety. They've already lost a child before, and don't want it to happen again.

When the
Nov 07, 2016 Leto rated it it was amazing
Mark is a boy who wishes to own a brown bear in Alaska, which is always kept in a shed. He always feeds the brown bear stale bread, but Gentle Ben, the brown bear, enjoys it and doesn't try to attack Mark.

One day a few people tried to kill Ben because he's a bear and they thing he will harm the citizens of the nearby town called Orca City. He gets cut on the nose by a scythe and is protected by Mark's family as well as another person not from their family tree.

Someone flew in a red plane over
Nataly Barakezyan
Jun 03, 2012 Nataly Barakezyan rated it really liked it
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
Tanya Larose
Aug 25, 2013 Tanya Larose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Laura Verret
Jul 26, 2009 Laura Verret rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
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
Emily Hazewinkel
Oct 09, 2012 Emily Hazewinkel rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, kid-picks
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
Oct 25, 2012 Claire rated it really liked it
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
Jul 16, 2010 Kevin rated it really liked it
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
Kay Pelham
Feb 05, 2014 Kay Pelham rated it it was amazing
Shelves: with-james
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
Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker)
I was a great fan of the TV series of Gentle Ben as a child, but I don't think I knew that it was based on a book back then. I'm glad to have read Gentle Ben at long last, although I was a little bit disappointed with it at times. Walt Morey's background as a pulp fiction writer shows through at times, but it is an exciting animal story and has a powerful environmental message set against the majestic backdrop of the Alaskan wilderness.

Aug 12, 2016 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ah, books about the relationship between a person and an animal. big genre. subdivide it into: children and animals, adults and animals, boys and animals, girls and animals, animals that are domestic, animals that are wild, animals that have to be released back into the wild, animals that die. I don't remember a hell of a lot about gentle ben so far as plot, etc., just the general shape of it, a guy and a bear, but I must have been taken with it because I read six other walt morey books that yea ...more
Marnie Bebej
Sep 09, 2013 Marnie Bebej rated it really liked it
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
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Gentle Ben 1 16 Feb 05, 2008 01:59PM  
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