The Quest of the Cubs (Bears of the Ice, book 1) by Kathryn Lasky

Published by Scholastic Press

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Summary:  Svenna, mother of two polar bear cubs, is dismayed to find Roguers at her den one day, demanding that she hand over her children to them to be taken to an unknown destination.  She refuses, saying she will go in their place.  She’s given a few days’ reprieve, during which time she desperately tries to find them a new home and teach them to hunt.  After leaving them with a distant cousin, she is taken away.  The cousin proves to be evil, and the two cubs, known only as First and Second, escape to try to find either their mother or the father they have only heard about in stories.  Plenty of adventure awaits them, and various animals help them, including a fox, a seal, and a snow leopard.  Chapters about Svenna show her to be in a bizarre city where polar bears worship a large ice clock and sacrifice cubs to keep it running.  First and Second (who name themselves Stellan and Jytte halfway through the book) manage to survive on their own to the end of the book, but it’s clear they’re not free of danger and many more adventures await.  240 pages; grades 3-7.

Pros:  Fans of Warriors and Kathryn Lasky’s Guardians of Ga’hoole will enjoy her latest series, which seems to tie in to the world of Ga’hoole (this connection seems like it will become clearer in book 2).  Plenty of animal adventure and a touch of the supernatural will leave readers anxiously awaiting the rest of the series.

Cons:  The anthropomorphizing occasionally goes a little too far, e.g. when the bears are sitting around drinking hot chocolate with a snow leopard.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.


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