10 year old April’s Father is an important researcher, and his current project is analysing the temperatures in the Arctic, which has sent them off to Bear Island. Bear Island is a remote arctic wilderness where, until the ice caps melted, Polar Bears used to thrive. April believed her Father that Polar Bears no longer existed there, until she saw a strange shape on the horizon. The great, big, loping shape of a bear. Intrigued, April investigates, and meets Bear, lonely, sick, injured and hungry, the last Polar Bear on the island. Will she be able to help him, and nurture him back to health? Will she discover the courage in herself to help Bear get home?
This wholehearted story is absolutely brilliant! Set on Bear Island, Norway, I loved how April is described so well she feels absolutely real, and Hannah Gold makes you really feel how April would at that time. The Last Bear is perfect for any adolescent 8+ who love novels about nature and friendship. Of course, a special mention must be made to the illustrator, Levi Pinfold, who’s images of Bear and April really tie the book together, and one of the many reasons why I would definitely rate this book 5/5 stars.