The Bear

A Novel

Publisher: Anchor Canada
Told in a voice reminiscent of Room, this nail-biting tale of psychological suspense shows two small children fighting for survival in the wilderness after a terrifying bear attack.
     The black dog is not scratching. He goes back to his sniffing and huffing and then he starts cracking his bone. Stick and I are huddled tight. . . . It is dark and no Daddy or Mommy and after a while I watch the lids of my eyes close down like jaws.

Told from the point of view of a six-year-old child, The Bear is the story of Anna and her little brother, Stick--two young children forced to fend for themselves in Algonquin Park after a black bear attacks their parents. A gripping and mesmerizing exploration of the child psyche, this is a survival story unlike any other, one that asks what it takes to survive in the wilderness and what happens when predation comes from within.


I can hear the air going in and out of my brother’s nose. I am awake. He is two years old and almost three and he bugs me lots of times because I am five years old and soon I will be six but it is warm sleeping next to him. I call him Stick. He always falls asleep before me and I listen to the air of his nose. I...

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1. How did you react to reading an entire book from the perspective of a five-year-old? Did you like Anna’s voice? Did it take some time for you to connect and/or relate to the differences in syntax?

2. One of the challenges an author takes on by using a young child as narrator is that their vocabulary is...

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   • "Cameron's resonant plot and Anna's unforgettable voice add up to a novel destined to stay with you long after you've chewed through it." The Globe and Mail 

   • "[A] gripping survival thriller. . . . But this agonizing odyssey of loss and being lost also has humor. . . . The book's anguished yet hopeful ending provides a touching terminus for Anna and Stick's journey to adulthood." People 

   • "Claire Cameron manages to create something both quintessentially Canadian and breathtakingly fresh. . .terrifying, beautiful and thrilling." Zoomer