A Bear Named Trouble

A Bear Named Trouble

by Marion Dane Bauer

NOOK Book(eBook)

View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now
LEND ME® See Details

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547350011
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 06/27/2005
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 128
File size: 59 KB
Age Range: 10 - 12 Years

About the Author

Marion Dane Bauer has written more than one hundred children's books, including picture books, easy readers, early chapter books, and novels. She won a Newbery Honor for On My Honor, a middle grade coming-of-age story. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. www.mariondanebauer.com.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 4 The Encounter

Night had fallen, but the young bear ran on without considering his destination. He had long since left behind the territory he and his mother knew, so where he went no longer mattered. All that lay before, around, behind him was new and strange. The cub had been born and lived all his life near Anchorage, but though some bears wandered through the city itself, he and his mother had always stayed away. She had been adept at finding food for both of them. Why should she go near the strangely altered landscape of the city with its hive of humans?
As the young bear forged ahead, he hardly noticed that clipped lawns and ornamental shrubs had begun to replace the marsh and meadow and forest he was accustomed to. He noticed little, in fact, except that his jaw hurt horribly, that he was alone, that he wanted his mother. He paused once to sample some grass the April melt had uncovered, but his sore mouth made chewing difficult. He moved on. He didn’t stop again until he came to a strange metal object. It was saturated with a scent his mother had taught him to avoid . . . humans. But beyond the human scent was another, even more pungent. It was the totally compelling smell of rotting food.
He sniffed around the can, tipped it over with an experimental blow from one paw, and when the cover came off and rolled away, settled down to enjoy the contents. His first meal of human garbage. Delicious, delicious garbage! And much of it soft enough that he could eat it without aggravating the pain in his jaw. He ate and ate, then moved on, looking for more.

Jonathan lay watching the undulating bands of light that poured through the skylight in his bedroom. Pink and blue and green flashed across the sky like a rainbow gone mad. He thought of calling his father to come see the show, but he didn’t. Dad would just point out that the northern lights came often here and that they both needed their sleep. If his mom were here, she would watch the dancing lights with him. Jonathan could remember once when he was a very little boy and his mother plucked him, sleeping, out of his bed on a summer’s night and carried him to the backyard to see a display not nearly as spectacular as this one. He didn’t remember Dad’s being there to watch the night sky with them, though. Mom said that Dad was a practical man, more of a scientist than a poet. And Jonathan knew that to be true. Mom loved poetry. She loved music and soft trailing scarves and flowery scents. Dad came home from work smelling of the big cats, and when Jonathan had dared to say that he, too, wanted to be a zookeeper when he grew up, Dad had said, “Then you must learn to pay attention, son. You can’t dream among the animals the way you do.” It didn’t occur to his father that “dreaming among the animals” might be just another way of paying attention.
Jonathan closed his eyes and turned over onto his side. Dad was right about one thing. He did need to get some sleep. Another quiz tomorrow. Social studies this time. Why didn’t anyone ever ask him what it felt like to be a polar bear . . . or a moose calf . . . or a white goose? Now that would be something worth taking a quiz about! Jonathan was just drifting toward sleep when a sound brought him awake again. A thud . . . like something falling. Like someone falling. It seemed to come from the deck just below his window. He jumped out of bed, taking a tangle of covers with him. He kicked the blankets aside and peered out the window. Despite a light layer of new snow on the deck, it was too dark down there to see anything. He scrabbled under the bed for his slippers. He couldn’t go outside without something on his feet. He found one moccasin-style slipper and one sneaker and pulled them on. The sneaker was for the wrong foot, but he didn’t care. He hurried down the stairs on tiptoe. At the sliding deck door he stopped and peered out. The house was surrounded by enormous fir trees, so even though the sky still flashed brightly, the shadows of the tall trees fell across the deck, obscuring everything. Jonathan flipped on the light switch. No light. Of course. That was his fault. Before supper, Dad had asked him to replace the bulb on the deck. He had said he would—and he’d meant to do it, really—but then he’d forgotten. Another sound. Almost a moan. Someone in pain?
Dad? Had his father gone outside and fallen down because the bulb hadn’t been replaced? Maybe he had come out to see the northern lights blazing across the sky after all.
Quickly, silently, Jonathan slid the glass door open and stepped out onto the deck. The cold night air slapped him in the face. It would be a long time before it would be warm heree, longer even than it took to warm up in Duluth. Snow crunched lightly under his feet.
He could see nothing. “Dad?” he called in a voice that surprised eeeeeven him with its tremor. “Are you out here?” No answer. Only that noise again, a little louder this time. Jonathan took another step.
And then he saw. Not his father. A brownie! It wasn’t full grown, but plenty big enough. And close enough, too! The shadowy hulk rose not six feet from the spot where Jonathan stood. Jonathan could make out the hump of muscle between the shoulders and the profile of the dished face that distinguished brown bears from black. The other way people said you could tell the difference between the two was that if you climbed a tree, a black bear would climb up after you and eat you. A brown bear would stay on the ground and shake you out of the tree and then eat you. Jonathan wished he could manage not to remember things like that.
The bear stood so close that Jonathan could smell the rotting food on the brownie’s breath and some other, darker smell that must be the bear himself. If the creature had wanted to, he could have reached out and knocked Jonathan down with one of those huge paws. But he didn’t seem to want to. In fact, as surprised as Jonathan was to be standing there on his own deck staring into the eyes of a bear, the bear seemed equally surprised to be confronted by a boy. And then, with a kind of strangled moan, a sound similar to the one Rhonda made when Mom was brushing tangles out of her long hair and she was trying really hard not to cry, the brownie bounded past Jonathan, down the snowy steps and was gone.
Jonathan stood rooted for a long moment listening to the pounding of his own heart.

Copyright © 2005 by Marion Dane Bauer. Reprinted by permission of Clarion Books / Houghton Mifflin Company.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"With a strong plot, well-developed characters, and an engaging writing format, this book is a great choice for young readers." SLJ School Library Journal

"The tale explores the need for companionship and the importance of accepting the consequences of one's actions." BOOKLIST Booklist, ALA

"A charming, deceptively simple story with special appeal for animal lovers." KIRKUS Kirkus Reviews

"[An] appealing treatment of a child's rescue of an at-risk animal." BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"After examining the world of wolves in RUNT...Marion Dane Bauer now turns to the ursine life." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Publishers Weekly

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Bear Named Trouble 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I want to talk about a book I read, it was called A Bear Named Trouble by Marion Dane Bauer. This book takes place in Alaska and it¿s about 120 pages long. It is about a young boy named Jonathan that really likes to be in the Alaska zoo. He is almost always there watching his favorite animal, Mamma Goose, a white goose. He also likes watching animals in the wild. One day he sees a cub bear whose mom died, this book shows the kids and the cub¿s side of the story, that same bear accidentally killed Mamma goose in the zoo. For what the bear had done Jonathan¿s dad named it Trouble. The young cub fights his way finding food and his mother, wail Jonathan thinks on revenge towards Trouble. I would say my favorite part in the whole book was when Jonathan watched the cub accidentally killed mamma Goose. This was my favorite part because it had so many details and it turned the whole story around, from Jonathan being scared of Trouble to him being angry at it. He was looking at mamma Goose when Trouble came in the zoo and swiped the goose with its sharp claws striking it with a very powerful arm. Jonathan felt terrible and scared, and he though that Trouble knew exactly what he was doing, although he didn¿t. This made me think the zookeepers would kill Trouble. The power of the claws nailed into the goose¿s body and made it bleed, mamma Goose fell to the ground quietly and sadly died. The blood of the goose dripped off Trouble¿s sharp claws, Jonathan was horrified and wanted that bear to go away. Trouble didn¿t know what he was doing and just took off running. Jonathan ran off him self to his house and told his dad about mamma Goose. His dad told him that he was just dreaming but there was prove. Jonathan¿s dad told him to stay home wail he took care of it. After this the rest of the book was mostly about people trying to catch/kill Trouble. This part of the book will be the one I will always remember because of all the things that happened that turned the whole book around. From reading this book I know how it feels like to be out in the middle of the street alone with no one to help you and almost nothing to eat, and with a broken jaw. I feel like this because in the story the cub trouble was out in the middle of the humans scared and hungry with a broken jaw. I liked how the author described trouble and Jonathan and how they both faced their problems. This book is perfect for people that like realistic short animal stories. The reading level of this book is right for me, and I¿m not much of a reader. This book is not the kind of book I would read for pleasure, although it¿s not one of my favorite I still like it. I really recommend it.
DarlenesBookNook on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I read this book aloud to my daughters.Overall, we enjoyed the book. My girls love anything and everything to do with animals, so I knew they would.There were some strange parts of the book where Jonathan and his sister play a game where they try to imagine themselves inside the animals becoming what they see and feel. The parts of the book written where he is "inside" the animals is just weird, though. I am all for creativity and imagination, and that is not what I have a problem with; it is just the way that Bauer wrote those passages that just seems "weird" to me.We have read other Bauer books that we have enjoyed more.
rldougherty on LibraryThing 10 months ago
A young brown bear and ten-year-old Jonathan, each missing his mother and trying to find his place in a new environment, meet in Anchorage. Jonathan is there because his zookeeper father has accepted a new job, although his mother and sister temporarily remain in Minnesota. The adolescent brownie is newly-independent, hungry, and has a broken jaw. The city beckons him with the availability of soft human food, less competition from other bears, and potential companionship from the zoo¿s resident grizzly. One night Jonathan follows the bear under the fence into the zoo and watches as it kills Mama Goose, his favorite inhabitant. Grieving and outraged, Jonathan wants the bear held accountable for the murder. After instigating a citywide `bear hunt,¿ Jonathan realizes that bears and humans do not share a moral code. He learns that a nuisance bear will pay with his life for trespassing in human territory. Without thinking of the potential danger, Jonathan rushes to Trouble¿s aid in the final showdown. Marion Dane Bauer meshes the story of an actual bear, now residing at the Lake Superior Zoo, and a fictional boy. She switches between their perspectives in short, episodic chapters; delineating each point of view with a unique font to help newer readers make the transitions. As bear/boy encounters become increasingly prolonged and dangerous, their perspectives merge within a single chapter. Bauer introduces new vocabulary and detailed information about the communication, diet, physical features, and social behavior of brown bears within a multi-species coming-of-age tale. Boys who love animals will resonate with Jonathan¿s empathy and enjoy the chance to creep into the skin of a grizzly. Kids in transition may recognize themselves as the heroes struggle with growing independence; long for comfort in strange, new homes; experience loneliness; and seek to sate their literal and metaphorical hunger. This is a compelling, action-filled story which ends hopefully despite the critical mistakes of both protagonists. Highly recommended for its believable, creative plot and realistic treatment of wild animals.
BME45 More than 1 year ago
This was a really good book.  A must read for 4th and 5th grade students.  The suspense builds beautifully and keeps the reader engaged.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is ok
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My fourth grade teacher read this to my class and I three years ago and everyone in my class absolutley LOVED this book. I highly reccomend it to children and adults of ALL ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this in third grade 2 years ago I still havn't forgotten it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book I read is A Bear Named Trouble by Marion Dane Bauer. The setting takes place in Alaska in the present. The genre is realistic fiction and it has not a lot of pages. A boy named Jonathan lived with his father in Alaska. His father worked in a zoo. He loved a goose named Mama Goose because it was a beautiful goose. His sister loved birds too and he was going to adopt the goose, but keep her in the zoo. Jonathan likes to play a game where he gets into an animal¿s body and he pretends to be that animal. Trouble is a bear who got abandoned by his mother because a big male came. While Trouble was wandering around he came into a dead baby moose whose mother was still protecting him. The mother kicked Trouble in the jaw and broke his jaw. Then Trouble wandered into the city and could only eat soft food. Jonathan meets Trouble when Trouble runs into his porch. Then Trouble sees Jonathan and they stare at each other. The rest of the book is about how Jonathan gets used to Trouble. My favorite part of the book is when Jonathan says that his dad is going to bring him to school. But he doesn¿t he goes to the zoo. I wish I could do that but not go to the zoo. I would stay home and play video games. I might watch T.V all day and might eat food too. I would recommend this to my brother because he might like it. I thought it was good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A Bear Named Trouble I read the book called A Bear Named Trouble by Marion Dane Bauter. It was realistic fiction, it has 120 pages, and it took place in Alaska Zoo. I would like to recommend A Bear Named Trouble. I recommended it because it¿s an easy read and I like to read about animals. I also would like to recommend it because it describes the details very well. The main character¿s name is Jonathan, He loves animals so much sometimes he pretends he is one. Jonathan has a sister that also has also loves animal. The story is about a boy named Jonathan. Jonathan¿s dad works at Alaska Zoo so Jonathan goes there a lot to play with Mama Goose, his favorite animal. Eventually Jonathan runs into a young brown bear. After that Jonathan tracks the bear to the Alaska Zoo, and then when the bear walks by Mama Goose she starts making a lot of noise¿ then the bear lifts one of his tremendous paws and swipes at the noisy goose¿ sadly Mama Goose dies. After the bear kills the goose, he has to escape before being killed by the fish and game group. My favorite part is when they described the agony the bear was in when in broke its jaw when it got kicked. It said how the bear felt its jaw shatter and how it only wanted to eat soft food. This is my favorite part because I think it describes the dangers to a bear in the wild.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A Bear Named Trouble A kids book review A Bear Named Trouble by Marion Dane Bauer. Is not one of my favorite books. If you like stories about animals and tells you how they live. This book is realistic fiction. This story is about a boy named John that is 11 years old. He goes to Alaska to visit his dad. Who is the zookeeper for the Alaskan zoo. John always goes to the zoo and feeds corn and grains to his favorite animal in the zoo. The white goose. John loves this goose so much. John also loves other animals, he likes animals so much that he even slips inside of them. As in he imagines he is inside there body living the way they do. Then a bear comes into the picture. And I think you know his name. it¿s trouble! Because that is what he does causes trouble. John is a boy that is kind of shy. He has some friends at school, but he doesn¿t have them come over. And he keeps them away from his life at the zoo. John¿s dad is sort of a strict man. He likes to be the boss of everything. He is kind of mean to John, but sill loves him very much. And trouble is what they would call a brownie in Alaska. Which means a black bear. He is only a little cub, but he is still very powerful. One of my favorite parts is when the bear is investigating the woods near the zoo. There was a mother moose with her baby. The bear (trouble) bumped into her. So the mother moose thought trouble was trying to hurt here baby cub. So the frightened moose, butted: as in kick him in the face with the two back legs. Butted him in the jaw. Even though it wasn¿t that forceful It was still powerful enough to break the lower jaw. Trouble ran and ran into the forest. Far far away, but stopping every single forty-fifty seconds. To paw at the agonizing pain! I really liked this part of the book because the author put so much detail into it. That I could really picture him running threw the forest and feel the pain of the burning jaw dripping with blood. I would recommend this book to someone that likes reading books about animals and how they live. This story is very good, but it just wasn¿t that good for me, but how do I know that this book may not be good for you. So I think you should just try and pick up this book. You might like it. Because this story is a story about an animal¿s life and how they live. So if you are a person that likes stories about animals and how they live then this story is good for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A Bear Named Trouble I would recommend A Bear Named Trouble by Marion Dane Bauer. The genre is realistic fiction. The setting takes place at The Alaska Zoo. This book is about a young boy who is 10 years old named Jonathan and he loves animals. He believes sometimes that he is in the animal¿s body. His father is a zookeeper at The Alaska Zoo and Jonathan has a little sister named Rhonda she was born with spinal bifida. It is harder for here to do things. Also her and her mom stayed in Minnesota. Jonathan and his father moved from Minnesota because he got his job at the zoo. His mother had to finish up her teaching so Rhonda stayed with her and Jonathan stayed with his dad. Mama Goose is Jonathan¿s favorite animal at the zoo he said he is going to adopt Mama Goose and give it to Rhonda. One night Jonathan heard something bang on the deck he thought maybe his dad had slipped on the deck. So he ran down stairs and went out on the deck he saw a big tall thing that was brown, but not his dad. He heard a big moan, it was bear! He did not know what to do and the bear was so close to him. Jonathan was afraid that the bear would knock him out with his paw but he didn¿t. The bear just walked away. A couple nights later the bear killed mama goose. Jonathan was so upset so he called the bear Trouble. My favorite part was when Jonathan met the bear. I like this part because he helps the bear and feeds him bread. Also he sees that the bear is nice and did not hurt him when they met face to face. I would recommend this book 4 star because it talked a lot about animals and I like animals. Also I liked that there was a bear in it and it causes a lot of trouble and I liked that part.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A Bear Named Trouble is a realistic fiction book written by Marion Dane Bauer. The main character is a boy named Jonathan who lives in Alaska with his dad. His mom and sister are in Minnesota. Jonathan LOVES animals, and he can even imagine himself inside them! He lives right next to the Alaska Zoo, where he visits every day. However, one day, a brown bear cub comes to Jonathan¿s house. Jonathan lures the bear over to his house, but the bear breaks into the zoo and kills Jonathan¿s favorite zoo animal. Jonathan and his dad set out to capture the bear, which Jonathan¿s dad has named Trouble. One of my favorite scenes takes place when Jonathan is waiting for the school bus and sees someone from Fish and Game carrying a camera and a gun. Jonathan wants his father to know about this, so he skips school and goes into the zoo. His father tells him that they want to tranquilize and capture Trouble and not kill him, but if Trouble escapes, they will have to kill him. Jonathan does not want Trouble to be killed, so he decides to lure Trouble towards his captors. I like this scene because it is very well composed, and Jonathan has a lot of emotional conflict over whether or not he wants Trouble killed. I rated this book 5 stars because it was very well written. It showed some scenes from Jonathan¿s point of view and some from Trouble¿s, which I thought was very interesting. I liked the basic concept of the story 'I wish I could see myself inside animals!' and the plot. The ending was very well written 'although I¿m not going to give it away!'. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes stories about animals.