Title: The Great Bear (The Misewa Saga #2)
Author: David A. Robertson
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Puffin Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: September 28, 2021
Eli and Morgan journey once more to Misewa, travelling back in time.
Back at home after their first adventure in the Barren Grounds, Eli and Morgan each struggle with personal issues: Eli is being bullied at school, and tries to hide it from Morgan, while Morgan has to make an important decision about her birth mother. They turn to the place where they know they can learn the most, and make the journey to Misewa to visit their animal friends. This time they travel back in time and meet a young fisher that might just be their lost friend. But they discover that the village is once again in peril, and they must dig deep within themselves to find the strength to protect their beloved friends. Can they carry this strength back home to face their own challenges?
Eli and Morgan have returned home from their first trip to the Misewa, a world that they can only enter through a picture in their attic. They both have to face some tough situations in their real world lives. Eli is being bullied by kids at school for having long hair. Morgan has to decide if she wants to contact her birth mother. To get some help with their problems, they want to return to Misewa and see their friend, Ochek. However, since he died at the end of their last journey, they go back in time to see him again. They find that the world is facing a new threat, so they have to work together to protect their friends.
This was a really good sequel to The Barren Grounds. Since one of Eli’s and Morgan’s friend died at the end of the previous book, they had to travel back in time to see him again. Things weren’t the same in the world as what they remembered, so they had to be careful not to change the future.
Eli and Morgan are both Indigenous foster children. They have to deal with the trauma of their past and figure out how to still honor their heritage while fitting in at school. Eli wore his hair in a braid, but the other children called him a girl. They didn’t understand that it was important to Eli to honor his culture by braiding his hair. Morgan had to make the tough decision of whether to contact her birth mother or not. She has some memories of her from when she was a toddler, but she still feels abandoned. These aspects of the plot will introduce young readers to some of the real problems that Indigenous youth may face today.
The Great Bear was a great sequel! It ended on a cliffhanger that left me with so many questions. I can’t wait to see where the story goes next.
Thank you Puffin Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story by David A. Robertson, Scott B. Henderson (illustrator)
Walking in Two Worlds by Wab Kinew
Other books in the series:
Have you read The Great Bear? What did you think of it?