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Moon Bear Paperback – 2 May 2013

58 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (2 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192793535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192793539
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 2.2 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 219,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Before she could walk, Gill Lewis was discovered force-feeding bread to a sick hedgehog under the rose bushes. Now her stories reflect her passion for wild animals in wild places. She draws inspiration from the many people and animals she has met during her work and travels as a vet, both at home and abroad.

Gill's first novel Sky Hawk was published to much critical acclaim. It won the UKLA Children's Book of the Year, Leeds Book Award, Heart of Hawick Book Award, Solihull Book Award, Warwickshire Children's Book Award, Newton Marasco Green Earth Book Award and was shortlisted for the prestigious Red House Children's Book Award, Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the Brandford Boase Award


Product Description

Review

Moving, gripping and full of well-drawn, convincing characters, this is a powerful and inspirational book. (The Daily Mail)

She writes an utterly convincing story of ursine - and human - behaviour. (Guardian, Mary Hoffman)

(Gill Lewis) is most definitely a writer to watch (Fiona Noble, Children's Bookseller)

Gill Lewis is an expert storyteller (Red House)

"...a tale of friendship and moral courage..." (Martine Chilton, Telegraph Online)

"This is an eye opening, educational experience for young readers, which provides a wealth of information about bears in Asia...Moon Bear purifies a potentially miserable story with a natural magic and several beautiful friendships" (www.welovethisbook.com)

"It packs in adventure, love, loyalty, betrayal and an education in south-east Asian history. This is a cracking read, and Gill Lewis' moral compass points to true north." (Kitty Empire, Observer)

"A moving animal adventure beautifully told, and perfect for fans of Michael Morpurgo." (TBK Magazine)

Book Description

A boy and his bear, both longing to be free . . .

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 16 April 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The story Moon Bear revolves around a 12 year old boy called Tam whose life is turned around when his family is moved from their mountain home to a new village. After his father dies in an accident, Tam is sent to the city to work on a bear farm to earn money to send back to support his family.

In the city, Tam learns the horrors of bear farming and that not everyone can be trusted, but at the same time he builds a close relationship with one young bear and the story tells of their struggle to get away from the city and back to their families.

This is a heart-warming tale of how one person, however small, can make a difference. Although as an adult I am not the target audience, I very much enjoyed reading Moon Bear. It is a book that will appeal to a variety of people, from younger to old, but due to the nature of some of the themes it would not be suitable for the very young.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Debbie VINE VOICE on 4 May 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Can you milk a bear? Well I'd certainly never heard of this before I read this book, which gave me an affinity with twelve year old Tam. The book follows Tam as he begins work in a bear factory cleaning and feeding the caged animals for the 'Doctor'. What follows is a unsavoury glimse into the bear bile business to 'cure all ills'. I would think some scenes may be upsetting for younger children;

"They turned in their cages, pressing against the far bars. I could see the whites of their eyes. Some panted and made deep hooting sounds. I could feel my own heat thumping deep inside my chest. I could feel their fear."

My 11 year old said this is her favourite book and although a sensitive child hasn't been upset by what she read. She prefers it to White Dolphin and will definitely look out for more from this author who is becoming a favourite.

Would compare with Michael Morpurgo. Older children and adults can enjoy, Gill Lewis is able to deliver difficult subjects without being too heavy whilst still sending a clear message.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Chris from Hampshire TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
While reading "Moon Bear" I found it hard to believe that it was a work of fiction and indeed written as a children's book.

From the first page you are drawn into the world of young Tam, a boy living a life of poverty in a mountaineous village, a boy who loves bears. Noy, Tam's friend, wants to go to the forest to try and find a bear cub. The idea is to sell it for $100 so they have money for their poor families. They find a mother bear a little way from her den. Tam goes into the den to search for the cub while Noy keeps watch. Just as Tam is coming out of the den with the bear cub, he finds mother bear standing in front of him and his fear kicks in. As luck would have it, something scares mother bear who picks up her cub and leaps across the river. In the distance there is the sound of the loggers who have started to clear the forest. Then, more rumbling sounds - thunder? - no, soldiers and trucks winding up from the Mekong Valley.

The story goes on to tell about Tam and his family having to leave their mountain village on the orders of General Chan, to live in a new village in the Mekong Valley - a place where the General promises them all so much more - a better life. As they looked backwards, all they could see were plumes of smoke rising from their old mountain village - there would be no going back.

The villagers start their new life and big changes are about to take place. General Chan sends Tam to work on a farm in the city - a bear farm. Nothing is as Tam expects it to be and he makes it his goal to save and care for these bears. Along the way he learns of the treachery of people but also makes new friends.

I do not want to tell you any more details about the story because it will spoil the read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. L. Rees TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This deeply moving tale is set in Laos, twelve year old Tam's whole village upended to make way for development. He is transferred to the city, money earned there vital for sending back to the family's new home. His work involves tending bears housed in tiny cages, their bile regularly extracted as a lucrative alleged cure for every ailment.

What he sees sickens (and will sicken the reader), especially when a bear cub arrives so close to death. He nurses it back to health, and between them there grows a bond. What hopes for them both - surely there can be a better life?

Here is a disturbing eye-opener for innocents hitherto unaware of such practices. Meaningful thoughts are raised about conservation, priorities, loyalties - treachery from unexpected quarters, help from those who surprise. There is much to stir the emotions - not least the letter with such an important part to play.

Welcome here a novel with a great deal to offer. Do not be put off by a subject that seems so grim. The story gains much being narrated by young Tam himself - language appropriately simple, sentences short. With Tam so determined and appealing, most readers will yearn for all to end well. That is as may be. One thing is for sure: for Tam, bear cub and reader, this will have proved quite a journey.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Book Gannet TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is beautiful, emotional, terribly sad, upsetting and yet wonderful all at the same time.

At just twelve years old, Tam is everything good about loyalty and love - he just wants to help his family, and he pays a high price for it.

Everything to do with the bears is awful, made so much worse by the fact that it's true - and yet the bears themselves are beautiful. Sôok-dìi has such character - who wouldn't want to save him?

Even with such a serious subject at its heart, this story also has light moments and hopeful ones. Nor is this just a tale of cruelty and animals. It's about loyalty, love, true friendship and knowing when to take a stand for the things that matter.

Beautiful. Gill Lewis is a real talent. If this doesn't make you care for the plight of moon bears, nothing will.
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