A “refreshing” (Kirkus Reviews), unpretentious, and uplifting story about a father and son reconnecting and finding happiness in the most unlikely circumstances.
Danny’s life is falling apart. His eleven-year-old son, Will, hasn’t spoken since the death of his mother in a car crash a year earlier, and Danny has just been fired from his construction job. He’s behind on the rent and his landlord is threatening to break his legs if he doesn’t pay soon. Danny needs money, and fast.
After observing street performers in a local park, Danny spends his last few dollars on a tattered panda costume, impulsively deciding to become a dancing bear. While performing one day, Danny spots his son being bullied by a group of older boys. Danny chases them off, and Will opens up for the first time since his mom died, unaware that the man in the panda costume is his father. Afraid of disclosing his true identity, Danny comforts his son. But will Danny lose Will’s trust once he reveals who he is? And will he be able to dance his way out of despair?
Filled with a delightful cast of characters including Danny’s Ukrainian best friend Ivan, Bear Necessity is “a moving, sensitive story that is also very funny, and a perfect literary antidote to anxious, troubled times” (Shelf Awareness).