Format: ARC paperback
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Number of Pages: 192
Publishing: October 2nd, 2018
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Opening Line: "In the evening, as darkness falls, I return to the fortress."
Journey of the Pale Bear is a beautiful story of a real polar bear that lived in the Tower of London and the fictional boy who went on the voyage with him from Norway to his new home. I loved how the action starts off quickly and the short chapters lend themselves to be read aloud. There are lovely descriptions of life at sea, with all the historical details and perils that one would expect. My favorite parts are of Arthur taking care of a 1000+ lb polar bear aboard the ship, what to feed her and how to get rid of all of the excrement. I can only imagine. I really liked Arthur, he has such a love and passion for making sure that the the polar bear is safe. His fear of going into the cage is realistic and even his being conflicted about his feelings toward the Doctor seemed authentic. Especially when he refers to Arthur as "son," meaning it more as a term of endearment. Arthur had every right to be mad at the doctor for all of the things that he demanded of him. Arthur said it best, "The doctor had ordered me to go on deck alone with the bear. I could have been killed. A man wouldn't do that to his son." A wonderful story that reflects the bonds that animals and humans can share.