Finding Bear, sequel to The Last Bear, drives a powerful message to young readers as climate change takes hold in the Arctic. April Wood returns to help her friend, Bear the polar bear, who is struggling to navigate this changing world.
April never waivers in her beliefs, her urge to help the world and to save the polar bears. Her strength and determination feel like a call, a pull to keep reading. This book invited characters with their own beliefs and personalities to interact with April, and when they did, it was a wonder to witness how she could reach them. However, April has the power to pass her determination beyond the page, her voice strong enough to call to readers.
Although Gold captures the beauty of the Arctic, she manages to show the horrors it faces. I was excited for the polar bears to make their appearance, however, there was a sadness, a heavy pressure to understand the realities they experience and to not have the power to help immediately. The experience of the reader is mirrored by April’s – she did not belong in number Thirty-Four Stirling Road where no one understood, she wanted to be in the place where she could make change.
I particularly liked how Gold gave April the space, as a young voice, to express her anger toward current world leaders and to humanity for not wanting to leave the world a better place. April roars for young voices to act, a call that will stick with readers even after you have finished reading.