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Emory's Gift
W. Bruce Cameron

Forge Books
August, 2011 \ ISBN 0765327813
Fiction / Teen / Young Adult

Reviewed by Willie Elliott

Recently a large number of good novels for young adults seem to be coming out, and W. Bruce Cameron's Emory's Gift is no exception. After thirteen-year-old Charlie loses his mom and finds little attention from his father, he makes an unusual friendship with a grizzly bear.

Yes, the author asks the reader to believe such a friendship could occur and that the bear could be the reincarnation of a Civil War soldier, but he pulls it off. Because of these two facts, Charlie has many adventures which he must deal with alone since his father is emotionally absent.

These adventures make for good reading, but Charlie's quest to obtain his father's attention and love make for more emotional reading. This quest is secondary to the bear and how to protect it, but it is always underneath all of the action of the book. When push comes to shove about the fate of the bear, the father and son get on the same emotional wavelength.

Young adult readers will enjoy the adventures of Charlie and Emory and, in a positive or negative way, will relate to the emotional separation of father and son. This should be a hit with junior high school students - - especially boys in this age group. Although targeted for young adults, this novel is suitable for adult reading as well.

Reviewed 2011
© 2011