Friday 12 June 2015

Gentle Ben

This coming academic year, I'm hoping to facilitate a book club at our home education group. The  theme is continents of the world. This, of course, is an excellent excuse to spend time reading different children's books over the summer! Please feel free to suggest books which may be suitable for this book club.

A friend pointed me in the direction of  Gentle Ben, thank you! 

Gentle Ben, by Walt Morey, is set in a salmon fishing community in Alaska. Mark is a lonely child, after the death of his brother from tuberculosis. Nearby, a fishing pirate keeps a tame brown bear in poor conditions. Mark makes friend with the bear, to the consternation of his father and later, the rest of the community. 

The story follows of how the tame bear is excluded by the townsfolk and remarkably, saved from hunters. In the process, Mark's life is also saved. 

Yes, an improbable story but fascinating and full of detail, new to me, about salmon fishing. 

Recommended for children aged 8+ by the publishers. I suspect this is about right. I did read that game wardens do not like this book as it has lead to accidents from people not being sufficiently cautious around brown bears. This may well be an issue but probably isn't enough of a concern to make this book a risk to London children. We probably will discuss the how likely a bear is to be tame! This book is ideal for teaching children about a culture very different from theirs in a city in England.

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1 comment:

  1. Gentle Ben is a wonderful book, and remains a well read favourite in our home. So lovely to see a post about a favourite read aloud ♥