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“A lovely little miracle of a book.” —Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal–winning author of The One and Only Ivan
“[A] large-hearted and riveting medieval adventure.” —William Alexander, National Book Award–winning author of Goblin Secrets
“A breathtaking adventure.” —Kirby Larson, Newbery Honor–winning author of Hattie Big Sky
A runaway boy befriends a polar bear that’s being transported from Norway to London in this “stupendous coming-of-age tale stuffed with adventure” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
The polar bear is a royal bear, a gift from the King of Norway to the King of England. The first time Arthur encounters the bear, she terrifies him. Yet, strangely, she doesn’t harm him—though she has attacked anyone else who comes near. So Arthur finds himself taking care of a polar bear on a ship to England.
Tasked with feeding and cleaning up after the bear, Arthur’s fears slowly lessen as he begins to feel a connection to this bear, who like him, has been cut off from her family. But the journey holds many dangers, and Arthur knows his own freedom—perhaps even his life—depends on keeping the bear from harm. When pirates attack, Arthur must make a choice—does he do everything he can to save himself, or does he help the bear to find freedom?
Based on the real story of a polar bear that lived in the Tower of London, this timeless adventure story thoughtfully looks at the themes of freedom, captivity, and the bond between a boy and a bear.