Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction Disasters

Bear in the Family

by (author) Eric Walters

illustrated by Olga Barinova

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Apr 2022
Disasters, Dogs, Bears, Country Life
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2022
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 8
  • Grade: 1 to 3
  • Reading age: 6 to 8


★“A profound, realistic story of a multiracial family...This brilliantly written tale is a lovely introduction to the important topics of wildfires and animal sanctuaries for young readers. Great for animal lovers and children curious about nature.”—School Library Journal, starred review

On returning to their home after a massive wildfire, nine-year-old Jasmin and her seven-year-old brother, Hunter, thought the biggest surprise would be whether their fire-resistant house had survived.

Jasmin and Hunter did not expect to find an orphaned bear cub stuck in the neighbors’ well. Rescuing the tiny cub from the well was the easy part; now they need to care for it until the people from the bear-rescue sanctuary can make it safely through the fires to pick it up. The cub turns out to be exactly what one would expect of a wild animal—a huge handful!

The latest Orca Echoes early chapter book from award-winning author Eric Walters was inspired by Eric’s visit to a wildlife sanctuary in Northern British Columbia. Bear in the Family tells the fictionalized story of a bear cub found by a family after the forest surrounding their home was destroyed by a wildfire.

The epub edition of this title is fully accessible.

About the authors

Eric Walters is the author of many acclaimed and bestselling novels for children and young adults. His novels have won numerous awards, including the Silver Birch, Blue Heron, Red Maple, Snow Willow, Ruth Schwartz, and Tiny Torgi, and have received honours from the Canadian Library Association Book Awards and UNESCO's international award for Literature in Service of Tolerance.

Eric lives in Mississauga with his wife, Anita, and three children, Christina, Nicholas, and Julia. When not writing or touring across the country speaking to school groups, Eric spends time playing or watching soccer and basketball, or playing the saxophone.

To find out more about Eric and his novels, or to arrange for him to speak at your school, visit his website at

if (SYM == "BIO") { document.writeln(""); } else { document.writeln(""); }

Eric Walters' profile page

Olga Barinova is a children's book illustrator. A graduate of the Alberta University of Arts, Olga lives in Calgary.


Olga Barinova's profile page


  • Commended, Bank Street College of Education Children's Book Committee Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Commended, Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices
  • Winner, Forest of Reading Silver Birch Express Fiction Award
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens

Editorial Reviews

“Clearly and well-told, touching on pertinent topics such as wild-fires and the need for wildlife sanctuaries. Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

★“A profound, realistic story of a multiracial family returning to their rural home after a wildfire...This touching story provides much-needed insight into the effects of wildfires on humans and animals alike...This brilliantly written tale is a lovely introduction to the important topics of wildfires and animal sanctuaries for young readers. Great for animal lovers and children curious about nature.”

School Library Journal, starred review

“Educating readers about wildlife rehabilitation centers is woven throughout this thoughtful, relatable, and interesting tale. Recommended.”

School Library Connection

“Highly engaging…While the story centers on the bear rescue, the loving and sensible family dynamic offers a firm foundation for the larger story about wildfires and rural community response.”

Cooperative Children's Book Center

Other titles by Eric Walters

Related lists