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With Hannah Gold speaking at the Reading for Pleasure Conference in Milton Keynes, I wanted to finally share my review of her magnificent sequel 'Finding Bear'. I absolutely adore this book. Being with April and Bear once again feels like coming home. The cold is that much colder, the challenge to find Bear almost inconceivable. But the warmth and wisdom is ever powerful. 'Finding Bear' alarms you, hugs you, roars at you and flings you to the stars and back. Hannah Gold beautifully conveys the fragile tenderness and intimacy that exists between living things, while dazzling us with the awe and splendour of our world within the cosmos. Alongside Levi Pinfold's breathtaking illustrations, 'The Last Bear'  and its sequel are children's modern classics. 

April Wood has returned from her adventure on Bear Island, but she can’t stop thinking about Bear. When April hears that a polar bear has been shot and injured in Svalbard, she’s convinced it’s her friend and persuades her dad to travel with her to the northernmost reaches of the Arctic to find him...

Year 6 read 'The Last Bear' as part of our Literacy Tree curriculum and I supported teaching them the sequence. Children and adults alike love the book and the children's written responses were so thoughtful and challenging. My deputy head has since read both books and we have bonded over a shared love of Hannah Gold's writing. Her books naturally promote reading for pleasure: there's so much heart and urgency in them that children and adults alike feel a need to talk about them. My deputy and I have had conversations about April: isn't she brilliant? Do you think she's neurodivergent? Isn't she like a much younger Greta Thunberg taking even bigger risks? What as a school can we do better in terms of acting on climate change? What do you think about 'The Last Bear' becoming a major film? Don't these books feel like big hugs?


Every school should have copies of these books. And I cannot wait to read 'Turtle Moon' and see what happens with the Last Bear film. Amazing!

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