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Chasing the Bear
A Young Spenser Novel

by Robert B. Parker


Robert B. Parker's novel for young adults, Chasing the Bear, takes a new approach to the boy-saves-girl theme. Young Spenser, who is being raised by two tough individuals with high moral standards—his father and his uncle—shows them he has learned their lessons about courage and right and wrong very well.

Spenser sees his friend Jeannie being taken down the river and uses his toughness and smarts to save her from her abusive father.

This is where the plot deviates from what most young readers would expect. This is not the climax of the novel but just one instance to show the courage and moral soundness of Spenser. The young adult readers will be pleased with the way the novel diverts from this scene to another one that shows much of the same qualities of the young man.

The author provides tension throughout the novel , especially in the river scene with Jeannie trying to escape from her father. Without beating the young readers over the head with moral preaching, Parker leaves them with an idea of what it takes to be a good and solid citizen. This book should be a staple for junior high reading programs. As an adult, this reviewer was entertained and heartened by the book.

The Book

Philomel Books. Penguin Young Readers Group
May 14, 2009
Young Adult Fiction
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The Reviewer

Willie Elliott
Reviewed 2009
© 2009