Alanna King's Reviews > The Bear

The Bear by Claire  Cameron
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really liked it

The UGDSB has just chosen this book as our board-wide novel for secondary students and author Ms. Cameron will be visiting schools in May 2015. After reading this terrifying novel, I am nervous about the problematic areas in Cameron's choices. As a parent, I can only describe the first 2/3 of the books as horrific, as main character Anna, 5 years old, attempts to care for her 2 year old brother in the wilderness of Algonquin Park after a trauma happens to Anna's parents and the two children are left on their own. Nothing could be scarier except...trying to find food, and exposure to the elements, and the confusion of being suddenly alone. Every minute of Anna's narration is heartbreaking. As a secondary school librarian, I hope the teens who pick up The Bear won't be turned off by the narrative voice, and won't be scared to ever go camping again. There are many issues to explore about wilderness, survival, bears and PTSD so I'm hoping the book will open avenues to inquiry. There is nothing explicitly horrific that I fear censorship on, only that the power of the imagination leads the reader to a dangerous place of what could be around the next corner for Anna with every turn of the page. Having said that I devoured it in 48 hours of my busy life, so I'm hoping teens will have the same reaction.
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Reading Progress

January 15, 2015 – Started Reading
January 17, 2015 – Finished Reading
January 18, 2015 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Gary (new)

Gary Anderson Your concerns are justified. Declaring that one book is right for everybody is like saying we should all wear pants of the same style and size.

Alanna King Thanks Gary. I think we're working up to building a program with more choices but the fact that our little board is doing something so courageous as promoting reading is something o don't want to discourage.

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