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Gentle Ben

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  4,305 ratings  ·  168 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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Esther d:) If you would Like to read it, I do not see why you can't!! Go for it Leeann!!!!

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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.:)
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Because I enjoyed Kavik the Wolf Dog more than I thought I would, and to compare to The Biggest Bear.
Yes, I can definitely see why this was so popular. Lots of exciting and interesting stuff in it for kids, and, yes, especially for boys. Maybe not quite enough about Ben himself, at least for kids who are animal lovers. Somewhat dated in some details and attitudes, but still worth a read for those interested.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful tale of adventure and friendship! Read this aloud to my children (ages 3-12) and we all enjoyed the plot, the characters, the ending, and everything in between.
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
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I'm not sure how I missed this book all these years. I've got a wife who is an elementary teacher, I have two kids, it takes place in Alaska, there's a bear and a fishing did I miss this book?

A great great story about a kid growing up in Alaska who befriends a bear.

Yeah sure other stuff happens but it's really the friendship between the boy and the bear that are important and it's magical. Wonderful story, wonderful characters, I just loved every minute of it.

Great stuff here.
Linda Todd
Mar 25, 2014 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
Helena Sorensen
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My nine-year-old son has read this twice, and he says it might be his favorite book ever. He asked if I'd please read it on my own. "It's such a great book, Mom," he said. "I know you'll love it."

Well, I slid it into my pile. (There are always so many good things to read.) I picked it up, not reluctantly, but not with much enthusiasm either, and then I found a delightful story full of beautiful descriptions and an unforgettable cast of characters.

It was a pleasure to read, and I'm so glad I did
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Library discard from the library I grew up in. Still has the library card in it. The wife of my seventh grade science teacher's signature is on the card :) They were our downstairs neighbors.

I suppose I have read it previously. If I did I had forgotten the story, which is wonderful. Having lived in Alaska I appreciate the setting and the fishing industry as a way of survival. But then there's the bear, Ben, and the boy ...

It's a wonderful story well written. I recommend it for all readers, all a
Bambi Moore
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read this to ages 4-14! Im not sure how I missed this one in all my homeschooling years . We didn’t just read Gentle Ben, we experienced it. Adventure, a boy growing in responsibility, lovely nature and outdoor descriptions, Alaskan culture and salmon runs woven throughout, a plot twist we didn’t see coming, and oh-so-much family love.
Megan Lane
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Awwwww. I liked this a lot. Super sweet and happy. Sad, of course. All animal books have to be a little sad. But still loveable and good.
May 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
It's not that this was a bad book, I just really didn't enjoy reading it at all. Not my type of book:)
Andrew Morrarty
Oct 21, 2014 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
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Mark’s older brother dies of tb, and somehow that enables Mark’s mother to allow Mark to befriend a bear. It’s a sweet story of a family growing together, but there were a couple of things I had trouble with:

1. Can a bear really be gentle with a human?
2. Would a mom, a mom who has already lost one son, allow her other son to make a bear his pet?

On the other hand, I loved the setting and reading about the profession of salmon fishing.
Ryann Lund
Jan 26, 2017 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.
Rebecca McNutt
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've read countless dog and horse stories, but Gentle Ben, the story of a troubled young boy finding solace and companionship in a grizzly bear, always stood out to me among other animal stories because of its unique main characters, vibrant imagery and originality. This is a great book for children but it's also good no matter what age you are.
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 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 rated it it was amazing
it was a good book
Karin Jenkins
Oct 22, 2016 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.
Kolten Brown
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Walt Morey's book Gentle Ben keeps the the reader reading the book with every page adding to their curiosity. The book contains adventure and suspense with every page. The main character Mark Anderson isn't your average boy. He has a best friend that would scare anyone away with the exception of Mark. His life changes when the time comes to attempt to convince his parents to save his friend or let his destiny take over. This decision will set his life one of two ways.
Characters: Seeing life thro
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful story. I started reading the excerpts to this book provided on Amazon, and was hooked from those, and ordered a copy right away. The story about a relationship between a boy and a brown bear is unique enough, but the additional gift this story gives is a window into the life of a native Alaskan family in the mid 1900's. I didn't catch an exact year, but estimate it to be about then. The description of the wild scenery, seasons changing, and what it's like for a seiner's family was fasc ...more
May 12, 2017 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.
Batty Bookworm
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
'Gentle Ben' is a book that tells of a rare friendship of a boy and "his" bear. This book is a great book for any age; it also is a fun read-aloud for children. I like this book because it's filled to the brim with adventure and love. This is a classic any one would not want to miss.
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book and the experience of Alaska through it. Although it seems unrealistic to have such a relationship with a bear, it is a sweet story. Definitely worth reading!
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David  Shelby
May 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
I don't remember much from this book, other than it's a heartwarming and occasionally heartbreaking story about a boy and his bear. I'm sure it's worth rereading.
Calleen Petersen
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
My one issue with this book, is that it talks about crows. I never saw a crow while I lived in Alaska. Instead there were Ravens everywhere.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
The classic story of a boy and his beloved pet...who happens to be the largest brown bear in Alaska. Great story. Candace read 6/05, try next year with boys.
Kimberly McCollum
This was a read aloud bed time story for my boys. My 8 year old loved it (he would probably give it 5 stars) and I enjoyed it.
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Gentle Ben 1 16 Feb 05, 2008 01:59PM  
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Walt Morey was an award-winning author of numerous works of children's fiction set in the U.S. Pacific Northwestand Alaska, the places where Morey lived for all of his life. His book Gentle Ben was the basis for the 1967 movie Gentle Giant and the 1967-1969 television show Gentle Ben.

He wrote a total of 17 published books, most of which involve as a central plot element the relationship between ma