The Year of the Bear Book Review

19 Jan

Another book review, friends! I have had this one waiting for me for a bit, and I finally got to reading it. Life is just too much sometimes, you know? But, I want to start out by saying that I did receive this from Ambassador International in exchange for my honest review. I’ll share the synopsis and then will tell you what I thought of it.

When thirteen year old Jason and his dad kill an attacking bear, they don’t know that they’ve left a cub without its mother. When family friend, Sasquot of the Penobscot Indians, learns about it, he decides to teach Jason how to care for the cub and teach it how to survive in the wild. As Jason learns about caring for God’s creatures, he and his father deal with the fact that Jason’s own mother has left them. Jason struggles to find his place at home and school amid racial bigotry and bullies. As the year passes and Jason bonds with the bear cub, he learns valuable lessons about himself and God.

I was intrigued by the idea of a boy’s coming of age alongside a story of a bear. I’ve not read anything by Douglas J. Lanzo but as it was from Ambassador International, I knew it would be a clean story with (most likely) themes of faith throughout. First off, I love the cover they did- it makes me think of Louis L’amour books or the like. I appreciated how faith was intregal to the story- and Sasquot, ah Sasquot was a favorite character of mine. I wish that he were real and that I could have him as a mentor. What a patient, teaching man! I liked learning more about Maine and the Penobscot Indians and wildlife. Jason was a character that came to life for me pretty quickly. I always like a good coming-of-age story and having that wrapped up with how he and his father relate to each other was well done. Another theme was racial bigotry which is of course, so relevant and I appreciated how it was touched on overall.

I enjoyed the core story very much, but I found myself skipping or sometimes actually stopping reading because some of the descriptions/stories were too lengthy and/or unnecessary. I am not sure if part of this is just because I’m not into some of those things much, if at all. I think that if one is passionate about those things, the reader would love that aspect of it. But, for me, it was too much and took away from the story itself.

You can buy the book on Amazon, or on Ambassador’s site.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this book if you’ve read it, or think you might like to give it a try!

~Laura

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