I'm going to jump right to the bottom line on this one, since we're getting close to Christmas. If you like a sweet, spiritually uplifting and clean story or have someone on your gift list for whom you're looking for a nice, clean, uplifting book, grab a copy of Emory's Gift.
Emory's Gift is narrated by 13-year-old Charlie Hall. Since Charlie's mother passed away, his grief-stricken father has become withdrawn and sullen, seldom speaking to his son, who desperately needs reassurance and support after their painful loss. On top of his uncomfortable home life and private grief, one of Charlie's former friends has taken to bullying him. But, when Charlie encounters a grizzly bear in the woods, an unusual friendship begins.
There's a lot more to Emory's Gift than just a boy befriending a bear (and a new human friendship that helps Charlie recover) but it's so magical that I'm afraid to say much more. Suffice it to say, Emory is no ordinary bear and some very interesting things happen. Bruce Cameron is a skilled and often surprising writer who has a knack for writing deeply touching stories.
I wish I could tell you more, but I'm afraid anything else I say will ruin the read so I'm just going to keep this review extremely short. I do think the denouement was a tiny bit of a let-down because I was hoping for something a little different, but upon reflection it obviously didn't dampen my feelings about Emory's Gift. As soon as I finished it, I recommended it on Facebook (very unusual -- I usually just link up to my blog reviews and don't say much about my reading, otherwise, on Facebook) and in my online book group. A very moving, emotional and somewhat spiritual read, highly recommended.
I'll save other news for later, since I've got a busy day ahead of me. Happy Reading!