By Emily Price.
This powerfully written debut novel by Hannah Gold follows young April and her father on a journey to the Arctic Circle. Bear Island was once home to polar bears but years of climate change and melting ice caps have stopped the majestic bears from making it to their winter habitation.
April’s meteorologist father is tasked with spending six months on the island to record the temperatures there. This close to the North Pole April and her father experience the midnight sun, when daylight dazzles the snow for months at a time.
As April’s father becomes consumed by his work, she decides to explore the tiny island. Far away in this frozen land, plastic has washed up on the shore, indicating our choices can influence even the remotest parts of our precious world.
One night, April is stunned to find a polar bear. Thin and frail with plastic wrapped around one of his paws, Bear has somehow been trapped on the island for some years, unable to make it back to the nearest polar bear population in Svalbard hundreds of miles away.
Gold writes completely in tune with a child who is innocent yet fiercely determined to do the right thing. This first novel will make you think about your own impact on the world and inspire a generation of young people to make a difference.
With hauntingly beautiful illustrations by Levi Pinfold, The Last Bear is a reminder that we all have a responsibility to our delicate world. In the words of April, “If every single person on the planet did just one thing…”
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