Blog Tour: Journey of the Pale Bear

JOURNEY OF
THE PALE BEAR
by
SUSAN FLETCHER
Middle Grade / Medieval Historical Fiction
(grades 3-7)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Date of Publication: October 2, 2018
Paperback: October 1, 2019

Number of Pages: 302

Scroll down for the giveaway!


A runaway boy befriends a polar bear that’s being transported from Norway to London in this lyrical and timeless adventure story about freedom, captivity, and finding a family.
 

 

The polar bear is a royal bear, a gift from the King of Norway to the King of England. The first time Arthur encounters the bear, he is shoved in her cage as payback for stealing food. Restless and deadly, the bear terrifies him. Yet, strangely, she doesn’t harm him—though she has attacked anyone else who comes near. That makes Arthur valuable to the doctor in charge of getting the bear safely to London. So Arthur, who has run away from home, finds himself taking care of a polar bear on a ship to England.
 
Tasked with feeding and cleaning up after the bear, Arthur’s fears slowly lessen as he begins to feel a connection to this bear, who like him, has been cut off from her family. But the journey holds many dangers, and Arthur knows his own freedom—perhaps even his life—depends on keeping the bear from harm. When pirates attack and the ship founders, Arthur must make a choice—does he do everything he can to save himself, or does he help the bear to find freedom?
 
Based on the real story of a polar bear that lived in the Tower of London, this timeless adventure story is also a touching account of the bond between a boy and a bear.

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Rating :★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copies used in those are finalized copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

This is an engaging novel that involves family, friendships, and heroics. This book will grab your attention from the moment you read the first page and hold your attention until the end.

This book follows the life of Arthur, a young boy trying to survive in medieval times. It starts off strong with Arthur involved in a chase that leads him in a confined situation. He must use his wits to get out of his current predicament and to get to a place he so desperately desires to visit. Before he can start his journey, he must first serve as a handler for a bear on a ship headed to London. During his time with the bear, he will develop an unlikely bond with this animal. The bear and Arthur have so much in common, they merely want to be free. Arthur faces pirates, bears, and royalty on his journey. He must learn to continue to fight to survive. Will Arthur and the bear finally get the freedom they so desperately desire?

Throughout this novel, I realized that Arthur just wanted to find a place where he felt he belong. He just wanted to be around people that wanted him. The author does an amazing job with the descriptive terms in this novel. So much so, that I felt the emotions of the main character as he described his family dynamics. The supporting characters are developed nicely and the action scenes are engaging. I was a bit skeptical at first about reading this mostly in part due to the setting and time period. In the end, this was one of my favorite novels I have read this year. I thoroughly enjoyed the character development, action scenes, plot, and ending. The author writes this novel in a way that allows the reader to feel a connection with the main character and the support characters. She does this by providing small backstories for the supporting characters that connect with the main character.

If you’re in the mood for a medieval historical fiction middle grade novel based in Europe, then you’re in luck. This book fits soo many key character development points and has such an elaborate storyline that it would be a great read for upper elementary and middle grades. I highly recommend this book for all! You won’t want to put this one down until you finish it completely!

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*ACCOLADES AND PRAISE FOR*

JOURNEY OF THE PALE BEAR:
Honor Book, Golden Kite Awards, 2019

Vermont’s 2019-2020 Dorothy Canfield Fisher list
2020 Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award Children’s Masterlist
School Library Connection highly recommended book
Junior Library Guild Selection
50 Must-Read Historical Fiction Books for Kids, bookriot.com


“…a stupendous coming-of-age-tale stuffed with adventure and laced with deeper questions… A richly satisfying story saturated with color, adventure, and heart.” –Kirkus, starred review

“I simply adore this novel. It has it all: gorgeous prose, fascinating history, riveting adventure. But it’s the unlikely tender friendship between a lonely boy and a polar bear that makes this a story to cherish. A lovely little miracle of a book.”

–Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal-winning author of The One and Only Ivan

“I loved every single thing about this large-hearted and riveting medieval adventure.” —William Alexander, National Book Award-winning author of Goblin Secrets


 

Although Susan loves to write about long-ago and faraway places, she can’t bring those worlds to life without grounding them in the details of this one. To that end, she has explored lava tubes and sea caves; spent the night in a lighthouse; traveled along the Silk Road in Iran; ridden in a glider, on a camel, and on a donkey; and cut up (already dead!) baby chicks and mice for a gyrfalcon’s dinner. To research Journey of the Pale Bear, she explored the grounds of the Tower of London and went backstage at the Oregon Zoo, where, standing breathtakingly near, she watched polar bears Tasul and Conrad lip grapes from their keepers’ open palms.Journey of the Pale Bear is Susan’s 12th book, including the Dragon Chronicles series, Shadow Spinner, and Alphabet of Dreams. Collectively, her books have been translated into nine languages; accolades include a Golden Kite Honor Book, the American Library Association’s Notable Books and Best Books for Young Adults, BCCB Blue Ribbon Books, and School Library Journal’s Best Books.

Susan has an M.A. in English from the University of Michigan and taught for many years in the M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults program at Vermont College. She lives in Bryan, Texas with her husband, historian R.J.Q. Adams, and their dog, Neville.

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THREE AUTOGRAPHED COPIES OF JOURNEY OF THE PALE BEAR
OCTOBER 10-20, 2019
(U.S. Only)
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