The Year of the Bear

by Douglas J. Lanzo

Genres: Children & Young Adult, Fiction, Young Adult

ISBN: 9781649602107

316 pages

Price: $17.99

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The Year of the Bear is a wonderful coming-of-age story. Jason, our young protagonist, faces a series of challenges, both physical and emotional, and comes out as a better young man as a result. The adventurous story draws you in and the development of the characters keeps you reading. Congratulations on a wonderful story.”
Robert Ford, Jr.
2014 Footlocker Co-National Coach of the Year

Thirteen-year-old Jason is on the cusp of manhood, striving to find his place at school and at home-especially after his mother has abandoned them and his father is left to deal with his own anger. When Jason and his father encounter a bear while out hunting, they shoot and kill it, not realizing that they have left a cub without its mother. When Sasquot of the Penobscot Tribe, a part of the Bear Family, discovers what they have done, he decides that Jason needs a lesson in caring for God’s creatures. Thus begins a year that Jason will never forget as he begins to care and train the cub in order for it to survive. As Jason forms a bond with the bear, he, in turn, learns valuable lessons for life.

“Fans of classic, enthralling adventure (and I’m one) are in for a rare treat.”
Josh Lieb
New York Times best-selling and Emmy Award-winning author of I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President

“Bears can move and climb surprisingly quickly; so, too, does this fast-paced and highly satisfying debut novel set in rural Maine, richly evoked. The Year of the Bear tells a coming-of-age story, its action seamlessly interwoven with moments of indigenous wisdom, personal discovery, and universal truth. If the immediate experience is cinematic, its aftereffect is inspirational. A compelling and uplifting work.”
Scott Mason
Author of The Wonder Code: Discover the Way of Haiku and See the World with New Eyes

“A Newberry award contender, for sure!”
Katie Cruice Smith
Senior Editor and Author of Why Did You Choose Me?

“This is truly a powerful coming-of-age story which connects the expanse of nature and human emotion at a level of intensity that carries the reader deep into the lives of its characters. A rich and engaging read!”
Rev. Dr. Cheryl L. Tatham
Minister, North Chevy Chase Christian
Church, Chevy Chase, MD

The Year of the Bear is an exciting and exhilarating novel that will keep both students and adults on the edge of their seats. Mr. Lanzo does a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life, and allowing young adults to make real world connections to the subject matter and the characters in his work. The Year of the Bear is an engaging and compelling read.”
Gregory D. Pacific, PhD
Board of Directors/Faculty
Akamai University
Durham, North Carolina

“As a child my grade school teachers read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books to us after lunch. Her descriptions were so clear that it seemed like I was transported into their lives. The time was different, but the place was nearby. Reading The Year of the Bear gives me that same feeling. The detailed descriptions of the land, lakes, rivers, with their plants and animals have described a place I have never seen, but I feel like I now know and am walking with Jason and his whole “family.” And the personalities of each of the characters are different, and yet they understand and love each other.”
Pastor Roger Berner
Current pastor of Lutheran Church of Our Savior, Port Washington, New York

“A wonderful, multi-layered adventure of a young teen growing up in rural northern Maine.”
Bob Ford, Sr.
Footlocker 2014 National Coach of the Year


An award-winning and inspirational author featured in WestWard Quarterly’s Winter 2021 issue and published in three of Vita Brevis Press’ bestselling poetry anthologies in 2021 and 2022 as well as in Cafe Haiku’s Fifth Poetry Anthology sharing my solitude, since 2020 Douglas’ poetry has found homes in fifty literary publications across the U.S., Canada, England, Wales, Austria, Mauritius, India, Japan, Australia, and The Caribbean. A graduate of Harvard College and Law School, where Douglas enjoyed writing editorials for The Harvard Crimson and articles for various other campus publications, he has published professional legal articles throughout his career. A General Counsel by day and writer by night, Douglas resides in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with his wife and thirteen-year-old identical twin boys, fellow internationally published poets, enjoying nature, traveling, biking, tennis, and chess.