Bear in the Family

Orca. (Orca Echoes). Apr. 2022. 96p. pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781459832978.
Gr 2-4–A profound, realistic story of a multiracial family returning to their rural home after a wildfire. Jasmin and Hunter, along with their parents and dog Brody, cannot wait to get home and hope it has not burned down. Along the way, all they see is debris and hollow landscapes. Although their mom, Sarah, designed their home to be fire-resistant and have solar panels on their roof, she is still not sure that it survived. They are thrilled to find their home intact. As the children are out playing, they realize Brody is digging a hole in the dirt and there is a sound coming out of the hole—the sound turns out to be a bear cub! They name the cub Boo-Boo and embark on caring for him, eventually pairing him with an animal sanctuary so he can be released safely back into the wild. This touching story provides much-needed insight into the effects of wildfires on humans and animals alike. Readers may learn new, important aspects of these natural disasters, as well as responsible approaches to caring for vulnerable wild animals. Jasmin and Hunter are depicted with brown skin and curly dark brown hair.
VERDICT This brilliantly written tale is a lovely introduction to the important topics of wildfires and animal sanctuaries for young readers. Great for animal lovers and children curious about nature.

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