When Daniel Bunker told me he wrote a book for kids about a bear, I said “Cool! Be sure to let me read it.” Then in the swirl of activity surrounding my own book release, the story of ‘Limpy Chesterton’ slipped my mind; until last week, when Bunker sent two copies my way.
Bunker, a Homer resident, volunteer firefighter, teacher aid, dad, and guide for Hallo Bay Bear Camp on the shores of Katmai National Park, wrote this story for kids after watching a youngish brown bear persist for survival, even with a severely damaged paw. Over the course of Limpy’s growing up, we see him struggle to get along, get around, and get by, emotionally and physically, in a gentle way that speaks volumes about Bunker’s understanding of children with disabilities, and the people who inhabit their world.
Limpy grew up with a disadvantage in a place where disadvantages might mean the difference between living, or not. It frightened him, his mother, and perhaps the other bears around him. Not unlike kids with hidden or visible disabilities, Limpy began a journey of self-actualization realized through painful experiences of forward and backward steps, until he gathers up the respect he deserves and earns, in the wild, beautiful Alaska wilderness.
In Limpy I see Big AK Kid, a young adult on the autism spectrum who vacillates between small victories and big challenges on a near-daily basis. I see AK Kid, his little brother, who stands on the brink of knowing it might be up to him to teach the lessons Limpy learns through a ‘bigger, badder bear’ encounter. He’s a hero, Limpy is. Timely? I think so. And you might think so too, for your own family.
It’s back-to-school season; time to celebrate the lessons learned through interaction and involvement, compassion and communication.
AKontheGO will be giving away a copy of Limpy Chesterton on our Facebook page, found HERE.
To be eligible, you must be an AKontheGO follower on Facebook, so be sure you’ve ‘liked’ our page. Then, as is our giveaway tradition, ask your kids to answer the following question:
“Who is your hero, and why?”
We’ll give away a signed copy of Limpy Chesterton on Monday, September 1, so enter today!