Gentle Ben, by Walt Morey, is a fiction book of 191 pages. The story takes place in Alaska before statehood.
Mark Anderson, the main character, is lonely after the death of his older brother. Mark befriends a brown bear, Ben, locked up in a shed near his house in Alaska. One night his former owner is drunk and comes to mistreat the bear only to receive damage to himself. The town declares the bear is a danger and must go. Ben is then supposed to be shipped to the states, but falls overboard during a storm and swims to a nearby island. Mark and his family take a job managing a salmon trap on the island where Ben is located. Mark and Ben are reunited but must try to stay away from hunters. One hunter with money sees Ben and decides to pay for him to stay alive because he is such an awesome sight.
A person can learn many lessons from Mark’s life. Two traits that stand out is perseverance and true friendship. Mark shows perseverance because he never gave up on Ben. He also tried very hard to keep people from hurting Ben. He shows true friendship by helping Ben when he needs help. He also made sure he was fed when he was in the shed.
One of the best things about Gentle Ben is the characters. The characters in Gentle Ben have very interesting styles. Some of them are very kind. Fans of friendships will like this book. An example is where Mark rubbed his cheek against Ben’s broad forehead, hard as rock covered with fur, and said: “If you were mine I’d feed you up until you were as round as a seal. You’d grow and grow until you were the biggest bear in the whole world, I bet. And I’d train you to walk right behind me all the time.
My favorite part of the book is how Mark, the boy, gets to keep a bear as his pet. It's a book you can't put down the first time you read it. It is one of my favorite books. It's one I highly recommend for all to read.
I have completely read this entire book.