The Last Bear (Hardcover)
What can a stranded polar bear and a nine-year-old girl do to help each other and bring light to the climate crisis? In the able hands of Hannah Gold, quite a bit! April’s father and she travel to Bear Island for his research, but he has been lost since the death of her mother, and the island only reinforces his alienation from April. So she wanders the island alone and discovers Bear, a polar bear who has been stranded since the ice flows have melted, making his journey back to Svalbard and other bears impossible. Their mutual need sparks a friendship between the two, and April determines that she cannot leave Bear to his fate. This is a tale of friendship, love, and the deep connections between animals and humans that propel even those of us with little power to great acts of healing.— Linda
An instant classic with a bear-sized heart, Hannah Gold’s debut novel is a touching story of kindness, adventure, and forging your own path—perfect for fans of Pax and A Wolf Called Wander.
There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At least, that’s what April’s father tells her when his scientific research takes them to a faraway Arctic outpost.
But one night, April catches a glimpse of something distinctly bear shaped loping across the horizon. A polar bear who shouldn’t be there—who is hungry, lonely and a long way from home.
An excellent choice for readers in grades 3 to 7, this fierce celebration of friendship includes full-page black-and-white illustrations throughout, as well as information about the real Bear Island and the plight of the polar bears.
About the Author
Hannah Gold grew up in a family where books, animals, and the beauty of the outside world were ever present, and is passionate about writing stories that share her love of the planet. She now lives in the UK with her tortoise, her cat, and her husband and, when not writing, is busy hunting for her next big animal story as well as practicing her roar. The Last Bear is her debut novel.
"Fans of Pax will appreciate this endearing story of interspecies friendship."
— Publishers Weekly
“For animal lovers, defenders of the environment, and fans of female-powered stories. Touching and poignant.”
— Kirkus Reviews
"Gold has an ear for descriptive language, and the close narration of April's story keeps readers intimately engaged. The book's environmental message is clear without being overpowering, and the combination of internal and external conflicts allows the story to be quiet and dramatic at the same time."
— Horn Book Magazine
"A bold, unapologetic look into the devastating effects of climate change and its impact on wildlife."
— School Library Journal
“This is an important first novel, important for us, for polar bears, for the planet. It is deeply moving, beautifully told, quite unforgettable.”
— Michael Morpurgo, bestselling author of War Horse