Monday, June 14, 2021

Bear Necessity by James Gould-Bourn

 
Things aren't going well for Danny Malooley. His wife died a year ago in a car crash, and his eleven-year-old son, Will, who was with her when she died, hasn't spoken since. Not one word. Even though he's being bullied at school. And Danny doesn't know what to do to make him start talking again. Not only that, Danny is two months behind in the rent. And he just lost his job. And when no one else will hire him, he dons a cheap panda suit and starts dancing in the park in the hopes of making some money as a street performer. Though his plan would work better if he could actually dance. But it does give him a chance to rescue his son from a bully. And when Will speaks to him afterwards?! It's the best moment in the world. Too bad Will doesn't know it's his dad behind the panda mask. And Danny doesn't know how to tell him the truth.

This book is one of those quiet, character-driven novels that packs a punch. It's poignant, humorous and heartwarming all at once. Both Danny's and Will's struggles made me want to cry...and laugh. And I loved Danny's efforts to reconnect with his son. Even the secondary characters in this book are fun and memorable, from Danny's tough Ukrainian friend, Ivan, to Krystal, the wise-cracking, f-bomb dropping, pole dancer who helps him learn to dance. Like Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson and Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobsen this novel is a true gem, and one I'm so glad I happened upon. 

Happy Reading!

38 comments:

  1. I loved Be Frank With Me! I was already sure I'd want to read this one and then found the comparison that cinched it!

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    1. Wasn't Be Frank With Me the best? This one has that same kind of heart. And I loved how Danny and his son figure things out together.

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  2. Oh my goodness this sounds wonderful! Will look it up on Goodreads.

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    1. I just really liked this one. The characters totally made me smile. :)

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  3. This seems like a moving and a heartwarming read. Will keep this book in mind. :)

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  4. Sounds good, Lark. I especially like the way the boy "bonded" with the bear without realizing it was his father.

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    1. Definitely one of my favorite parts of this book. And then his dad is so conflicted about what to do and whether or not to tell him the truth...I loved that, too.

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  5. This sounds really touching- especially the part about the panda suit and son talking. Glad this was such a wonderful read!

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  6. Sounds like an emotional but uplifting story! :)

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    1. It is. It made me tear up at times, but it also made me laugh. And it has a happy ending. :)

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  7. This sounds like such a heartwarming read. I'll have to see if my library has it. :)

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    1. Fingers crossed! This father and son are just so likable.

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  8. On my, what a lovely, lovely read this is!

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  9. Aww this is quite a touching read....from the synopsis,i would definitely seek out this novel.

    Glowyshoe's blog

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    1. It's a book worth reading! Thanks for commenting. :)

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  10. Poor Will, I feel for the kid. But this sounds really good.

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    1. I felt for Will, too. He's just so lost for awhile, but things work out well in the end.

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  11. This sounds so good! Great review. I'm going to be looking this up on GR because I hadn't heard of it!

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    1. It's different than what I usually read and I just really liked it a lot.

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  12. This sounds like such a lovely read. I hadn't heard of this book before so thanks for putting it on my radar. :)

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    1. It was luck that I ran into it in the first place. But I'm really glad I did.

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  13. Oh, this sounds quirky and heartwarming and delightful!

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    1. Those are the perfect adjectives to describe this one! :D

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  14. I've never heard of this one. Sounds like a great, heartwarming read!

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    1. It is. The whole dynamic between Will and his Dad was both realistic and touching.

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  15. I really like the sound of this one. I already feel for Danny and Will. Adding this to my wish list.

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    1. Danny and Will are easy characters to root for and love.

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  16. Sounds like a sweet story and I love books that are character driven. I'll check it out!

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    1. I love character-driven books, too. Especially ones with endings that make me smile. :)

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  17. This is not my usual kind of read, but it sounds very, very good. I will add it to me "to read" list.

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    1. I like books like this one when I can find them. Though I usually read more mystery and suspense. :)

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  18. That sounds charming! I remember looking at this one when it came out and kind of forgot about it. So glad to hear you loved it and it's definitely one I want to read.

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    1. The whole father/son dynamic was so cute!

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