Archaia. Aug. 2020. 160p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781684155316.
Gr 3-6–Bear, a guide dog, and Patrick, the young blind man he assists, have a close relationship and work well together until Bear suddenly and inexplicably loses his sight. Depressed and vulnerable, he falls prey to the neighborhood raccoons, who lure him into the woods with the suggestion of a magical cure that will restore his sight. While Patrick and Bear’s trainer Meg search for him, Bear is rescued from disaster by an actual bear named Stone. As the two head back toward town to try to reconnect with Patrick, Stone teaches Bear how to navigate using his sense of smell. They are chased by Stone’s mean brothers, and as they reach town, chaos ensues when humans see a bear on the loose. After a wild jaunt through the city, Bear finally returns home and receives a medical procedure to have his sight restored. After such a breakneck pace, the ending wraps up a little too neatly (including a tacked-on romance between Patrick and Meg, which middle graders are unlikely to relate to). However, the main characters are well developed, and the artwork is attractive and clear, with different colors conveying Bear’s perspective as he loses his vision.
VERDICT An action-packed tale with a tidy ending, this will please lovers of dog stories.

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