Book Review: The Last Bear by Hannah Gold

Dive into the heart of the Arctic with The Last Bear, an inspiring and poignant story by Hannah Gold, beautifully complemented by evocative illustrations. This book invites young readers on a journey that bridges the gap between a child’s capacity for wonder and the pressing environmental issues facing our planet.

At the core of this adventure is April, a determined young girl who, alongside her scientist father, arrives on the desolate Bear Island. It’s here, amidst the icy solitude, that she meets an unlikely companion — a lone polar bear, struggling to survive as his natural world melts away. The bond they forge becomes the catalyst for a larger mission, not just to save one bear, but to send a message about the impact of climate change on our world.

Why The Last Bear by Hannah Gold is Poignant

Engaging Plot: Follow April as she embarks on an Arctic adventure with a mission to save her new friend and bring attention to the plight of polar bears in a warming world.

Stunning Illustrations: The artwork throughout the book brings the stark beauty of the Arctic and the warmth of April and the bear’s friendship to vivid life.

Urgent Environmental Themes: Tackles climate change, habitat loss, and the power of individual action in an accessible and impactful way.

Themes & Topics for Classroom Discussion

Environmental Activism: Encourages conversations on climate change and the importance of protecting our planet.

Cross-Species Friendship: Explores the deep bonds that can form between humans and animals, highlighting empathy and understanding.

Courage and Empowerment: April’s bravery in facing environmental challenges head-on inspires readers to believe in their ability to effect change.

Family and Responsibility: Delve into the dynamics of April’s relationship with her father and their shared responsibility toward Earth.

Discussion Starters

  1. How does April’s journey to save the bear highlight the impact of climate change on Arctic wildlife? Discuss examples from the story where climate change affects the bear’s natural habitat.
  2. What does April’s relationship with the bear teach us about empathy and understanding between humans and animals? Can you identify moments in the book where their friendship leads to mutual growth and understanding?
  3. In what ways does April demonstrate bravery in her efforts to help the bear? Discuss how her actions inspire readers to believe in their capacity to contribute to environmental conservation.
  4. How does April’s relationship with her father evolve throughout the story, and what does it reveal about their shared responsibility towards the planet? Consider how their perceptions of Bear Island and its significance change over time.

Perfect For Ages: 8-12, offering a compelling mix of adventure, emotional depth, and environmental education.

Similar Reads: Fans of Charlotte’s Web for its themes of friendship and Hoot by Carl Hiaasen for its environmental activism will find The Last Bear deeply resonant.

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The Last Bear by Hannah Gold

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