ARC Review: Bear Boy by Justin Barker | Teen Ink

ARC Review: Bear Boy by Justin Barker

July 19, 2021
By Bella_Queen DIAMOND, Plymouth, Ohio
Bella_Queen DIAMOND, Plymouth, Ohio
53 articles 23 photos 49 comments

Favorite Quote:
Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.
-Walt Whitman


Bear Boy by Justin Barker is the telling of the heartwarming story of Ursula and Brutus, two bears who, with help from a young Justin, are saved from horrid conditions in a zoo. This story was so full of hope, love, and revelations that I finished it within two days of beginning it. I could not seem to stray from the book, no matter how much my Sci-fi Fantasy tastes kicked in. I adored the book and would definitely recommend it to billions of friends if I had them.

Not only did Barker truly go into the heart of how some zoos tend to leave their animals in terrible conditions, he also ventured through his own life. Battling bullies, finding out that he was queer, and connecting with new friends were such gripping parts of this tale and brought a truly beautiful spin to the story. 

And Ursula and Brutus… my heart went out to them and I couldn’t believe that people could be so heartless to animals. Their story brought awareness of how evil zoos can be to me and for that I am so grateful to Barker. He ventured deep into the dangers we humans pose to animals, and how we can make a difference no matter how young we are. If a young Justin can do it, then why can’t we? There are so many more suffering animals out there, animals suffering from human hands, and I think the book instilled in me a want to truly help those suffering. 

We can make a difference, just like Justin Barker. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll save a suffering creature thanks to the inspiration this book offered me.



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