I’m don’t remember what it was about this book that caught my interest but it was a really enjoyable read.
Every child knows the comfort of a teddy bear, especially against the monsters under the bed, but few people know that teddy bears have a league (the League of Ursus) in which the teddy bear is the defender of the home and children in the house. Against all manner of closet monsters and under-the-bed creatures, the teddy bear is charged with protecting his family. But monsters come in all shapes and sizes and when a monster of a new sort comes into the home – a sort that brings local police – the teddy bear Spark will do all she can to protect the child who loved her to life.
Despite having an initial attraction to request this book, I also had some hesitation. I’ve had a few bad experiences reading books about teddy bears in the past few years so I was a bit gun-shy. But immediately author Robert Repino sets the stage for this hidden world of active teddy bears and I was hooked.
Spark is a young teddy bear and this really works well. In addition to making this character more relate-able to the young reader, it is a clever means to provide the reader with more background information. Spark is facing something pretty fierce, so she calls upon her mentor, Sir Reginald, who is able to offer some perspective and advice, which fill sin a lot of back story.
The subject matter here is actually pretty intense, and the teddy bears can be awfully fierce, but … they’re teddy bears. How can we feel too terrified when we’re talking about teddy bears?
There is a lot about this book that should really appeal to some middle graders. I can’t help but wonder if the fact that these are teddy bears will make this seem too ‘childish’ for some of the readers while the subject is a little too strong for the younger, teddy bear-aged readers.
Looking for a good book? Spark and the League of Ursus by Robert Repino is an action-packed, dark fantasy for young readers. Be prepared to talk to your child about some of the themes after reading this.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Spark and the League of Ursus
author: Robert Repino
publisher: Quirk Books
hardcover, 192 pages