100 books like The Last Bear

By Hannah Gold,

Here are 100 books that The Last Bear fans have personally recommended if you like The Last Bear. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

Dana VanderLugt Author Of Enemies in the Orchard: A World War 2 Novel in Verse

From my list on middle grade written that tackle grief.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I worked as a middle school teacher, I surveyed more than 200 students how they felt about books that included sadness and grief. The overwhelming answer from the students was that while adults too often minimize their feelings and dismiss the validity of their heartache, books do not. Many young readers want books that are honest and raw enough not to shield them from the world, but to pay enough attention to its pain to light a path, knowing that they can keep moving forward in the dark when they feel less alone and less afraid.

Dana's book list on middle grade written that tackle grief

Dana VanderLugt Why did Dana love this book?

I adored every single character in this book. Dan Gemeinhart is a master at pulling readers in by creating characters you want to spend time with and miss when you turn to its final page.

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise is a joyful journey of grief. Coyote and her dad have been traveling the American countryside in a refurbished school bus far from the tragedy of a car accident that killed Coyote's mother and two sisters. Expect to learn about resilience, bravery, and the necessity of facing hard emotions we’d rather outrun.

By Dan Gemeinhart,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Five years. That's how long twelve-year-old Coyote and her dad, River, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation. It's also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters.

Coyote hasn't been home since, but when she learns that the park in her old neighbourhood is being demolished - the very same park where she, her mum, and her sisters buried a memory box - she devises a plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state.

On the way, they'll pick up an eclectic group of folks. Lester…


Book cover of A Wolf Called Wander

Terry Lynn Johnson Author Of Ice Dogs

From my list on featuring an adventurous journey.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my life journey so far in the outdoors of northern Ontario, Canada. Before I became a conservation officer, I worked for twelve years in a wilderness park as a canoe ranger. I also had eighteen sled dogs and taught dogsledding and winter survival. I’ve always been drawn to reading adventure stories, so when I finally became an author (in my forties. It’s never too late), I naturally wrote the kind of books that I grew up reading. Now I love that I get to share my passions with readers.  I hope you find some books of interest on this list and join me on a journey into a new adventure.

Terry's book list on featuring an adventurous journey

Terry Lynn Johnson Why did Terry love this book?

I adored this book! Not only was I astounded at the believable way the author expertly tells a tale from a wolf’s perspective (no small feat to be realistic here) but it’s also based on the true story of the actual wolf OR-7. I was fascinated to be drawn into this journey and world. And the scrumptious illustrations throughout are icing on the cake. 

By Rosanne Parry, Mónica Armiño (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Wolf Called Wander as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

A New York Times bestseller

The wolf star, brightest of all in the summer sky, shines over my home ground. I know every hidden lake and rocky ridge, but if my pack is not in the mountains, then it is no home to me. I feel a howl deep inside, but dare not let it out.

Swift lives with his pack in the mountains, until one day his home and family are lost. Alone and starving, Swift must make a choice: stay and try to eke out a desperate life on the borders of his old hunting grounds, or strike…


Book cover of Peak

Terry Lynn Johnson Author Of Ice Dogs

From my list on featuring an adventurous journey.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my life journey so far in the outdoors of northern Ontario, Canada. Before I became a conservation officer, I worked for twelve years in a wilderness park as a canoe ranger. I also had eighteen sled dogs and taught dogsledding and winter survival. I’ve always been drawn to reading adventure stories, so when I finally became an author (in my forties. It’s never too late), I naturally wrote the kind of books that I grew up reading. Now I love that I get to share my passions with readers.  I hope you find some books of interest on this list and join me on a journey into a new adventure.

Terry's book list on featuring an adventurous journey

Terry Lynn Johnson Why did Terry love this book?

Peak is a climbing addict in trouble with the law. But he gets to join his estranged father on an expedition to climb Mount Everest. The catch is that his dad just wants to use Peak as a promotion for his climbing company. Peak has to navigate complex relationships, all while trying not to die. I loved the adventure, but also the window into why so many risk it all to reach the top.

By Roland Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Peak as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he's left with two choices: wither away in juvenile detention or go live with his long-lost father, who runs a climbing company in Thailand. But Peak quickly learns that his father's renewed interest in him has strings attached. Big strings: He wants Peak to be the youngest person to reach the Everest summit - and his motives are selfish at best. Even so, for a climbing addict like Peak, tackling Everest is the challenge of a lifetime. It's also one that could cost him his life.Roland Smith has…


Book cover of Alone in the Woods

Terry Lynn Johnson Author Of Ice Dogs

From my list on featuring an adventurous journey.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my life journey so far in the outdoors of northern Ontario, Canada. Before I became a conservation officer, I worked for twelve years in a wilderness park as a canoe ranger. I also had eighteen sled dogs and taught dogsledding and winter survival. I’ve always been drawn to reading adventure stories, so when I finally became an author (in my forties. It’s never too late), I naturally wrote the kind of books that I grew up reading. Now I love that I get to share my passions with readers.  I hope you find some books of interest on this list and join me on a journey into a new adventure.

Terry's book list on featuring an adventurous journey

Terry Lynn Johnson Why did Terry love this book?

The dialogue between the two former friends seriously transported me back to grade school. On top of the authentic voice, throw in the fact that these poor girls are lost in a National Forest with nothing but their bathing suits. Ugh! My skin itches with bug bites just thinking about it. The writing is so good, it also manages to make the Northwoods sound like a lovely place. 

By Rebecca Behrens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Alone in the Woods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

From the author of The Disaster Days comes a thrilling survival story, and lost in the woods children's book, about two former best friends who must work together to stay alive after getting lost in a remote national forest.
Jocelyn and Alex have always been best friends...until they aren't. Jocelyn's not sure what happened, but she hopes the annual joint-family vacation in the isolated north woods will be the perfect spot to rekindle their friendship.
But Alex still isn't herself when they get to the cabin. And Jocelyn reaches a breaking point during a rafting trip that goes horribly wrong.…


Book cover of Ice

Christina Casino Author Of Unforeseen

From my list on throwing you directly into the character's shoes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I enjoy writing fiction. I’ve never been drawn to one genre in particular so because of this my novels seem to fluctuate depending on the mood I am in when writing. I like the flexibility that self-publishing allows—being able to write in whatever genre I want. To not be bound to one. So far, I have written romantic suspense, crime thriller, and fantasy—with the hopes of one day soon writing a good horror story! I always dreamed of writing about the things that I would never see or never do and the things that are just not possible, I think that’s what keeps it exciting for me.

Christina's book list on throwing you directly into the character's shoes

Christina Casino Why did Christina love this book?

Ice is an unexpected journey in the Arctic filled with promises, broken hearts, trolls, ice, and a Polar Bear King. It’s a brilliantly written adventure that will have you wanting more with each sentence. Have you ever thought of falling in love with prince charming? How about with a polar bear? You’ll think twice after reading this!

By Sarah Beth Durst,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

When Cassie was little she thought her mother had been taken prisoner by trolls because of a deal she’d made with the Polar Bear King. Just a fairy tale to soothe a child whose mother had died. But on her eighteenth birthday, the “fairy tale” comes true when the Polar Bear King comes to take Cassie for his bride. Realizing she has the power to save her mother, Cassie makes her own deal with the bear and finds herself on a journey against time, traveling across the brutal Arctic to the land east of the sun and west of the…


Book cover of The Snow Bear

Linda Chapman Author Of Star Friends: Mirror Magic

From my list on fiction for children who love magic and animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up as an only child, books and animals were hugely important to me – they were my friends and I really wanted to believe in a magic that would allow me to talk to animals and them to me. I have now written over 250 books and pretty much all of them have either magic or animals in or a combination of both – unicorns, ponies that turn into magical horses, star animals who teach the children they bond with how to do magic, mermaids with sea creatures as pets. I really love to write – and read – about magical animals and their very lucky human friends!

Linda's book list on fiction for children who love magic and animals

Linda Chapman Why did Linda love this book?

I absolutely love all of Holly Webb’s books, sometimes she writes about animals in real life and sometimes about animals and magic but whatever she is writing, her books always have fantastic characters and show the bond between humans and animals. I particularly like her Winter Journeys series, they are longer than some of Holly’s other books and sensitively explore different cultures and family relationships. The Snow Bear is one of my favorites. It tells the story of Sara who loves to listen to her grandfather’s stories about the Inuits. One night she goes on a magical snowy adventure with a beautiful polar bear and finally discovers the magic of the Arctic for herself. A gorgeous, wintery story to share or to read alone.

By Holly Webb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Snow Bear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

As the snow begins to fall just days before Christmas, Grandad helps Sara build an igloo in the garden with a small snow bear to watch over it. And when Sara wakes in the middle of the night, it looks very different outside. She sets out on an enchanted journey through a world of ice, but will she ever find her way home...


Book cover of A Woman in the Polar Night

Laura Galloway Author Of Dalvi: Six Years in the Arctic Tundra

From my list on life changing books on life in the Arctic (and other cold climates!).

Why am I passionate about this?

Why I chose to write about cold climates: I spent nearly seven years living in the North of Norway in the Sámi reindeer herding village called Guovdageaidnu, or Kautokeino in Norwegian. I cherish my time in that part of the world. 

Laura's book list on life changing books on life in the Arctic (and other cold climates!)

Laura Galloway Why did Laura love this book?

Perhaps one of the most classic Arctic memoirs, this book is Ritter’s account of the year she spent in the remote Arctic wilderness of Spitsbergen in the 1930s. 

The nature writing is exquisite, and you can’t help but be transported to the time in place in which she lived, replete with polar bears and long, cold, (and dark) Arctic nights. 

By Christiane Ritter,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Woman in the Polar Night as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Conjures the rasp of the skin runner, the scent of burning blubber and the rippling iridescence of the Northern Lights..." Sara Wheeler, author of Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica

"Ritter manages to articulate all the terrible beauty and elemental power of a polar winter" Gavin Francis, author of Empire Antarctica

In 1934, the painter Christiane Ritter leaves her comfortable life in Austria and travels to the remote Arctic island of Spitsbergen, to spend a year there with her husband. She thinks it will be a relaxing trip, a chance to "read thick books in the remote quiet and, not least,…


Book cover of Polar Bear, Why Is Your World Melting?

Julie Dunlap Author Of I Begin with Spring: The Life and Seasons of Henry David Thoreau

From my list on children's books about the climate crisis that won’t scare their socks off.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a biology professor, I communicate frankly with adults about climate change, trusting them to comprehend the accelerating crisis. As a mom of Millennials, I channeled worries about their coping with wildfires, droughts, and extinctions into editing an anthology of young adults’ climate essays. Grandchildren posed a new worry: how should climate realities be introduced to the newest generation? My attempt at that task is a biography of Thoreau, focusing on his 1850s nature observations that ecologists now use to assess 21st-century climate shifts. Luckily, other children’s book writers also offer stories, memoirs, and other approaches to inform without alarming young readers; the best inspire determination to craft a better future.

Julie's book list on children's books about the climate crisis that won’t scare their socks off

Julie Dunlap Why did Julie love this book?

Facts matter to kids, of course, and library shelves groan with attempts to distill climate causes and effects down to child-sized volumes. For middle graders, visual encyclopedia-style nonfiction can work well, covering broad ranges of information from atmospheric chemistry to statistics on carbon emissions sources in photo-rich chunks. 

But I’ve seen younger readers wince at graphic pictures of bleached coral or violent wildfires. Pen and acrylic drawings soften this book’s approach, supporting student learning by avoiding traumatic imagery. The polar bear theme draws readers in yet gradually widens to encompass people and places affected near home.

My special kudos for spreads that explain scientific concepts, like the greenhouse effect, with accurate prose and illustrations abounding with life. 

By Robert E. Wells,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Polar Bear, Why Is Your World Melting? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the Arctic, the summer ice is melting, making it hard for polar bears and their cubs to survive. Why is the world getting warmer? The heat of the sun is trapped by the "greenhouse" gases that surround Earth―carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and water vapor. If there is just the right amount of these trapped gases, the air is warm enough for plants, animals, and people to thrive. But now there is too much greenhouse gas, especially carbon dioxide. Polar bears, and all of us, are in trouble. Robert E. Wells shows why so much carbon dioxide is going…


Book cover of The Discovery of Slowness

Carl Honoré Author Of In Praise of Slow: Challenging the Cult of Speed

From my list on slowness.

Why am I passionate about this?

Writer, broadcaster, speaker. I used to be stuck in fast forward, rushing through life instead of living it. I finally realised I needed to slow down when I started speed reading bedtime stories to my son: my version of Snow White had just three dwarves in it! I went on to slow down – and became, in the words of CBC Radio, “the world's leading evangelist for the Slow Movement.”

Carl's book list on slowness

Carl Honoré Why did Carl love this book?

A gripping novel based on the life and death of John Franklin, a 19th century Arctic explorer. Franklin was by nature slow, and therefore out of step with the times. At school, other kids teased him for never having a ready comeback. Later, slowness became his superpower, a source of deep thinking, care, and wisdom. Franklin was an early avatar of the Slow movement!

By Sten Nadolny,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Discovery of Slowness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Framing the life of the nineteenth-century explorer Sir John Franklin, this novel explores not only the adventures of his career, but also enters a world where the quality of life is considered in "slow motion", where ordinary experience becomes wholly new and unexpected.


Book cover of The Flight of the Eagle

Cynthia Reeves Author Of The Last Whaler

From my list on survival in extreme polar environments.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve had a lifelong passion for all things Arctic that began in childhood as I devoured many tragic tales of doomed Arctic explorers. This fascination later merged with concern for human impacts on this fragile ecosystem. Though I hate the cold and suffer from vertigo, I participated in the 2017 Arctic Circle Summer Solstice Expedition that sailed Svalbard’s western shores. Among other experiences, I witnessed a massive glacier calving and walked on an ice floe. Determined to fully absorb Svalbard’s setting for my creative work, I spent two subsequent residencies in Longyearbyen—one in the dark season and one as the light returned—and I signed on for another expedition to circumnavigate the archipelago.

Cynthia's book list on survival in extreme polar environments

Cynthia Reeves Why did Cynthia love this book?

I’m obsessed with the story of S. A. Andrée and his ill-fated attempt to sail over the North Pole in the balloon Eagle in 1897. My bookshelf is jammed with non-fictional accounts of this flight—and the tragedy that befell the three men aboard.

Because much is unknown about exactly what happened to these men, Sundman created this fictional story of the flight, from its takeoff on Danes Island on the western side of Svalbard to the balloon’s crash onto the ice near the North Pole to the men’s perilous journey over ice ending on Kvitøya (White Island) on the eastern side of Svalbard. Doubly tragic: they were so painfully close to salvation but unable to cross the sea to a more hospitable landing site on Svalbard.

I’m also incredibly curious about why explorers risk their lives for uncertain gain. This novel helps reveal the daring but also narcissistic motivations of…

By Per Olof Sundman, M. Sandbach (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Flight of the Eagle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Text: English, Swedish (translation)


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the arctic, girls, and polar bears?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the arctic, girls, and polar bears.

The Arctic Explore 66 books about the arctic
Girls Explore 87 books about girls
Polar Bears Explore 23 books about polar bears