Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots
written by Abby McDonald
Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots is about self-proclaimed environmentalist, Jenna, who gets thrown into a summer living with her godmother in the middle of the woods. There, she learns a really great lesson about what environmentalism is really all about. The thing I really appreciate about this book (other than the really great timing of reading it, as I'm currently taking a short class about environmental literature) is that it's not overly preachy like it could have been. While some stereotypes are portrayed towards the beginning of the book, about typical, sign-carrying, protest-loving environmentalism, this image really takes a sharp turn by the end of the book, by which point, environmentalism is shown as a lifestyle change, and one that might not be the best to make for everyone (for instance, the negative economic impact of jobs being cut in favor of a more environmentally friendly lifestyle is shown, and this largely affects some of the characters' lives). It's a very open-minded book that emphasizes the need for balance. The reader is truly given all sides of the issue, and then told to make a decision. By the end of the novel, the message really is about getting out in nature and just having fun. Environmentalist issues aside, the writing is wonderful, with a very honest, down-to-earth, authentic narrator. I really liked the size of the cast of characters--it wasn't too narrow-focused, but there wasn't a character overload, where it's hard to keep track of who is who. While some of the relationship stuff wasn't as great as I thought it could be, with a severe lack of communication between Jenna and Reeve, as well as unnecessary secrecy, it was still a good read, and I really encourage people to use this book as an introduction to what true environmentalism is all about. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more by Abby McDonald!
I got this book from...:LibraryThing Early Reviewers