Published by: Nosy Crow, 6th April, 2023
With another stunning front cover, the fourth book is this gorgeous series is released on Thursday. Yet again, this is a story perfect for animal lovers, lovers of adventure and those who enjoy tales of strong bonds between animals and children.
When Nuwan tries to prove himself by taking over his brother's job of delivering books, he finds himself in big trouble. Having accidentally thwarting the plans of some ruthless thieves, he now needs to put things right and stop the thieves from catching him. But when he stumbles into the cave of a rumoured vicious bear, things take a terrifying turn. Can Nuwan form an alliance with a wild animal? And, if he can, will he just be leading the bear into grave danger?
Set on the same fictional Sri Lankan island as all the other stories in this series, Nizrana Farook weaves another adventurous tale that places wild animals at its centre. Although the main characters develop a bond with these creatures, Farook ensures that respect is always key to the story: the child characters learn to respect the wildness of the animal and readers are made aware of the dangers and persecution facing them. Meanwhile the animals themselves are portrayed as having all the emotions and fears that we do, with the wish of being left to thrive in their natural habitat. This is certainly true of Karadi, who is an awesome, funny and endearing character who reminded me of Gentle Ben but perhaps with a bit more of an edge.
But that is only one strand of the story. As Nuwan inadvertently crosses some ruthless criminals, he becomes embroiled in a race against time as he journeys across the island, trying to outwit them. Here, the setting and the adventure become centre stage, with high stakes and obstacles galore. These are not just animal stories, that are animal-action stories, pairing a thrilling adventure with a equally edgy wild beast and giving us a glorious insight into life on different parts of the island.
So, if you fancy something cosy, comforting and heart-warming but with a bit of a bite, this is definitely a series worth checking out.
A big thanks to NetGalley and Nosy Crow for allowing me a review copy. The Boy Who Saved A Bear is out on 6th April 2023 and is available to pre-order.