The Last Bear

Author(s): Hannah Gold

Middle Fiction

Imagine making friends with a polar bear...


The Last Bear is perfect for readers of 8+, beautifully illustrated throughout by Levi Pinfold - winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and illustrator of Harry Potter 20th anniversary edition covers.


"This is an important first novel, important for us, for polar bears, for the planet. It is deeply moving, beautifully told, quite unforgettable." Michael Morpurgo.


There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At least, that's what April's father tells her when his scientific research takes them to this remote Arctic outpost for six months. But one endless summer night, April meets one. He is starving, lonely and a long way from home. Determined to save him, April begins the most important journey of her life...


This moving story will win the hearts of children the world over and show them that no one is too young or insignificant to make a difference. The Last Bear is a celebration of the love between a child and an animal, a battle cry for our world and an irresistible adventure with a heart as big as a bear's.

Lucy Bailey's Review:


Bear Island. A tiny dot in the Arctic Circle somewhere between Norway and the archipelago of Svalbard. Easy to overlook; much like April herself.


Eleven-year-old April has pretty much been raising herself since her mother's death - overlooked by her scientist father and feeling isolated at school, she prefers to spend time with animals (who are much kinder than people). When her dad's weather research takes them to Bear Island for six months, she hopes it will bring them together...but Dad just becomes even more focused on work, leaving April to explore the island alone. But a glimpse of something bear-shaped on the horizon may just lead to a bond with someone just as lonely as she is...


A stunningly illustrated story with a very strong environmental message, The Last Bear is an exciting read and beautifully written. As Hannah Gold acknowledges in the Author's Note at the end, she has taken some poetic licence and strongly advises never actually trying to befriend a polar bear! How I wish I could though as the gradual and gentle way the bond between April and Bear grows truly made my heart swell.


Recommended for ages 9-12 , this is a must for any animal loving reader!

$23.00(NZD)

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Product Information

'A dazzling debut . . . A magical, confidently told story – with beautiful illustrations by Levi Pinfold . . . I predict a roaring success.' The Times

Hannah Gold worked in the film and magazine industries before taking time out to pursue her dream of writing. She lives in Lincolnshire with her tortoise, her cat and her husband. The Last Bear is her middle-grade debut.


Levi Pinfold's debut, The Django, won the Book Trust Best New Illustrator award and his second standalone picture book, Black Dog, was awarded the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal for excellence in children's book illustration. This was followed by Greenling, which won the UKLA Picture Book Award. Levi has recently turned his considerable talents to illustrating fiction for older readers, creating exquisite pieces for the twentieth-anniversary special editions of the Harry Potter series and working with author A. F. Harrold on The Song from Somewhere Else, which went on to win the Amnesty Honour at the 2018 CILIP Kate Greenaway Awards.


He currently lives in NSW, Australia.

General Fields

  • : 9780008411282
  • : HarperCollins Publishers Limited
  • : Harper Element
  • : 0.32
  • : March 2021
  • : {"length"=>["19.1"], "width"=>["13.6"], "units"=>["Centimeters"]}
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Hannah Gold
  • : Hardback
  • : Levi Pinfold
  • : English
  • : 823.92
  • : 288