Review: The Last Bear by Hannah Gold

Goodreads | Waterstones

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 this remote Arctic outpost for six months. But one endless summer night, April meets one. He is starving, lonely and a long way from home. Determined to save him, April begins the most important journey of her life…

Wow. This was everything I love about middle grade (and children’s books in general) rolled into a gorgeous little parcel and tied with a bow. Throughout reading this one, I kept thinking back to what I loved as a child and I just know I would have adored this one if I picked it up.

We follow April, an animal loving girl who travels to a remote island with her father so he can look after the weather station there. While living alone with her father on this island, she makes friends with Bear, a polar bear who isn’t meant to be on the island.

There were so many aspects of this book I adored. I loved the relationship April had with Bear, it was so sweet and moving but also made April reflect on other aspects of her life, such as climate change and her relationship with her father.

Although this one is emotional and does discuss grief, it never felt too heavy or overwhelming and felt like the perfect level for children to understand and relate to. The discussions of climate change also felt quite appropriate for children, while also being passionate and important.

The adventure aspects of the story made it so easy to escape into, and I loved being able to pick it up and fly through some pages. I honestly think this is perfect for adults and children, and I never felt like I was reading a story that wasn’t applicable to me, despite it being written for a much younger audience.

I can’t wait to read more from this author and dive into her newest release The Lost Whale. I also would like to congratulate Hannah on winning the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2022, which is so well deserved!

★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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