Bear Boy

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The True Story of a Boy, Two Bears, and the Fight to Be Free

by: Justin Barker

Justin is a typical teenager, dodging school bullies and waging an endless war with his parents. But when he discovers Ursula and Brutus-two sibling black bears being kept in horrific conditions at a nearby zoo-his life begins to change. He finds a cause that ignites his passion and an animal sanctuary willing to take the bears. But there's a catch: he'll have to cover the quarter-million-dollar cost.

Undaunted, Justin takes his seemingly insurmountable quest to an international audience, gaining media attention and support from celebrities. With television cameras rolling, Justin fights to free the bears, and it turns out himself.

Justin Barker's surprising and moving YA memoir (for ages 13–17) offers the optimism of the 1990s while exploring timely issues of activism, animal rights, and LGBTQ identity with tenderness, unblinking honesty, and heart.