Seekers #2: Great Bear Lake
Kallik is a young polar bear living in the frigid north with her mom and brother. She knows she has a lot to learn before she will be able to survive on her own. However, she isn’t too worried as long as she has her mom to keep her safe and fed. But then comes the accident. Suddenly on her own, Kallik struggles to survive.
Lusa is a young black bear who has lived her entire life in a zoo. She hasn’t had too many worries, as the fences keep her safe from predators, and the zoo keepers feed her every day. And then she makes a promise to a dying friend, a risky promise that requires her to escape the zoo fences. She cleverly manages to do just that. Suddenly on her own, Lusa struggles to survive.
Toklo is a young grizzly bear living near the mountains with his mom and sickly brother. When his brother dies, his mom is so overcome with grief, she chases Toklo away from her. Suddenly on his own, Toklo struggles to survive.
These three young bear cubs set out into the wilderness, meeting new challenges every day. Toklo finds himself paired up with an unusual companion, another grizzly cub named Ujurak, who possesses the amazing ability to change form into other animals. Ujurak also has the knack to receive directions from the spirits, and the spirits are guiding him on a quest. The two brown bears eventually cross paths with Lusa, who has been struggling to fulfill her promise. Lusa is thrilled to have finally found Toklo and can deliver the message that his mother really did love him. But Toklo struggles with the anger of abandonment and doesn’t want to listen.
Now, suddenly without a purpose, Lusa tags along with the two brown bears, on their way to Great Bear Lake and the annual bear celebration of the Summer Equinox. But she feels useless at everything, not having learned hunting and defense at the zoo. Maybe she will meet up with some other black bears, and they can teach her how to be a real wild bear. Kallik is also on her way to the celebration. She is praying that she will find her brother, as they got separated when their mother was killed. Like all of the bears, she is struggling to find enough to eat. The environment grows sicker and sicker, and the humans continue to push into the bears’ territories.
At the celebration, Kallik finally crosses paths with Lusa, Toklo and Ujurak. They decide to travel together to the Place of Everlasting Ice, where the spirits perform colorful dances in the night sky. This ragged group of misfits has a long journey ahead of them, filled with danger and the unknown.
Erin Hunter picks up the story where she left off in THE QUEST BEGINS and carries on with even more adventure and excitement. Each page offers new exploration and discovery in the vast northern wilderness, with vivid descriptions that paint a beautiful picture. Hunter’s message about the environment is clear: the earth is sick, and these bears are attempting to survive in the mess that humans have created. She also cleverly deals with the theme of racism through a unique and honest approach --- three bears of different color, different backgrounds and different beliefs turn to each other for survival and friendship.
Seekers is an amazing series for readers of all ages. Fortunately, fans won’t have to wait too long for the journey to continue in book three, SMOKE MOUNTAIN, which releases in May.
Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on January 5, 2011
Seekers #2: Great Bear Lake
- Publication Date: January 5, 2010
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins
- ISBN-10: 006087127X
- ISBN-13: 9780060871277