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Journey of the Pale Bear
2018
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Summary
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. <br> <br> 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.<br> <br> 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?<br> <br> 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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  Booklist Review

When Arthur is attacked by bullies on the streets of Norway, he doesn't expect to be stuffed into a cage containing a great ice bear from the north. When she doesn't attack him, Arthur catches the eye of the men responsible for delivering her to London she's to be a gift from the King of Norway to the King of England, and they need someone to keep her calm. They offer Arthur a place on their ship to London so he can work with the bear, and Arthur, who believes he has family in Wales that he longs to find, is eager to accept. He and the bear form a close bond, but when pirates cause the ship to founder, Arthur must rely on the bear for his survival, even if her freedom means betraying his country and his future. Fletcher (Falcon in the Glass, 2013) blends high-seas action-adventure with a heartwarming animal-human friendship. Based on historical events, this is a heartfelt tale with plenty of middle-grade appeal.--Maggie Reagan Copyright 2018 Booklist
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