Book Review: Bear Necessity by James Gould-Bourn (5 Stars)

Book Review: Bear Necessity by James Gould-Bourn (5 Stars)

My reading for 2021 started off strong with Bear Necessity. When Danny’s wife passes away in a tragic car accident, Danny must pick up the pieces and take care of their son. Will is eleven years old and hasn’t spoken in the year since his Mom passed. Danny works construction but is let go from the job, and he doesn’t know what to do. He needs money fast, his landlord is threatening him with bodily hard if he doesn’t come up with the rent money soon. Danny tries to find a job but is unsuccessful and desperate. After observing street performers in a local park, Danny spends his last few dollars on a panda costume and hopes for the best. While performing one day, Danny sees Will being bullied by some older kids and he rescues Will while in the costume. Will had no idea it’s his father and tells him “Thank you.” It’s the first time he’s heard his Son speak in a year. During the next few weeks, Will stops by and speaks to the panda about his life and missing his Mom. Danny stays silent and tries to support his son. 

This book pulled at my heartstrings, and the cast of characters was phenomenal. Danny seeks dancing lessons from a strip dancer he meets on a bus, his best friend Ivan is rough and tough with a questionable past but he’s such a great friend. It’s been a year since Liz has passed and both Danny and Will are not coping well, Danny has no idea how to help Will. He mostly just let him be, he’s a good kid who doesn’t get into trouble and hangs out with his best friend Mo. Hearing Will’s perspective through his chats with the panda was really eye-opening, and I loved how Danny would try to connect with him afterwards without trying to spoil the secret that he’d the panda. Both are dealing with grief, and both of them have no clue how each other feels. If you’ve ever lost someone close to you, you’ll know this feeling of the world continuing while you’re still grieving. 

This is a book that I can’t recommend enough. I also think it gives great insight to children and how they are not always able to express their feelings but they do have their own perspectives and their own feelings about what’s happening in their world. This is James Gould-Bourn’s first novel, and I’ll be keeping my eye open for any upcoming books. I rated this book 5 stars and I keep thinking about the cast of characters. I really loved this book, even the book cover is amazing.

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