Title: ICE WALKER
Subtitle: A POLAR BEAR’S JOURNEY THROUGH THE FRAGILE ARCTIC
Author: JAMES RAFFAN
Genre: NON-FICTION, CANADIANA, POLAR BEARS, CLIMATE CHANGE, GLOBAL WARNING, HUDSON BAY
Length: 163 PAGES
Publisher: SIMON AND SCHUSTER
Received From: NETGALLEY
Release Date: SEPTEMBER 29, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-5011-5538-3 (ebook)
ISBN: 978-1-5011-5536-9 (Hardcover)
Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
From the top of the world, Hudson Bay looks like an enormous paw print on the torso of the continent, and through a vast network of lakes and rivers, this bay connects to oceans across the globe. Here, at the heart of everything, walks Nanurjuk, or Nanu, one polar bear among the six thousand that traverse the 1.23 million square kilometers of ice and snow covering the bay.
For millennia, Nanu’s ancestors have roamed this great expanse, living, evolving, and surviving alongside human beings in one of the most challenging and unforgiving habitats on earth. But that world is changing. In the Arctic’s lands and waters, oil has been extracted—and spilled. As global temperatures have risen, the sea ice that Nanu and her young need to hunt seal and fish has melted, forcing them to wait on land where the delicate balance between them and their two-legged neighbors has now shifted.
This is the icescape that author and geographer James Raffan invites us to inhabit in Ice Walker. In precise and provocative prose, he brings readers inside Nanu’s world as she treks uncertainly around the heart of Hudson Bay, searching for nourishment for the children that grow inside her. She stops at nothing to protect her cubs from the dangers she can see—other bears, wolves, whales, human beings—and those she cannot.
By focusing his lens on this bear family, Raffan closes the gap between humans and bears, showing us how, like the water of the Hudson Bay, our existence—and our future—is tied to Nanu’s. He asks us to consider what might be done about this fragile world before it is gone for good. Masterful, vivid, and haunting, Ice Walker is an utterly unique piece of creative nonfiction and a deeply affecting call to action.
“In Canada, the Cree, to the south, call her Wabusk. The Inuit, to the north, call her Nanuq or Pihoqahiak, the Ever Wandering One… The Sami in Scandinavia and western Russia call her God’s Dog, never mentioning her name. In Greenland, she is Tornassuk, the master of helping spirits… Science calls her “Ursus maritimus,” meaning ‘sea bear’ in Latin.“
Known to most of us as simply the “polar bear,” this majestic creature is losing her home. In “ICE WALKER,” we are taken on a journey in the Arctic told from the perspective of a fully grown female polar bear.
We journey alongside her as she hunts for the fat-rich seals which make up the majority of her diet. We feel her fear when she isn’t able to put on enough weight to sustain her while she is pregnant and then nursing. We feel her triumph when she sees her cubs for the first time.
Author JAMES RAFFAN has created Nanu based on years of study and research. You will NOT find any talking bears in this tale of subsistence survival in a land that is slowly disappearing.
ICE WALKER is destined to become the go-to book for those who want to understand the threat of global warming on these majestic creatures.
Without any lectures, or even not-so-subtle hints, readers will become invested in the plight of Nanu, the polar bear.
ICE WALKER is the “Gorillas In the Mist” for a new generation. What Jane Goodall did for the Gorilla, James Raffan has now done for the Polar Bear.
Sprinkled throughout the book are stunningly beautiful photographs of polar bears in their natural habitat. The author is also the photographer of these incredible images.
ICE WALKER contains the following extras:
* AFTERWORD: An Arctic World in Peril
* AUTHOR’S NOTE
* A NOTE ON THE TEXT
* FURTHER READING
* GLOSSARY and a
* READING GROUP GUIDE
I will be recommending this fabulously written tale to everyone I meet. Not only is ICE WALKER an entertaining story, it is also an important one. The plight of the polar bears and the warming of their habitat have worldwide implications.
Fabulous, Exceptional, with writing of the highest caliber.
I rate ICE WALKER as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
*** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. ***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
James Raffan is a prolific writer, speaker, and geographer, and the author of numerous books, including the bestselling Circling the Midnight Sun; Emperor of the North; Bark, Skin and Cedar; and Fire in the Bones. He has written for a variety of media outlets, including National Geographic, Canadian Geographic, Up Here, Explore and The Globe and Mail, and produced radio and television documentaries for CBC Radio and the Discovery Channel. His work has taken him all over the world. He is an international fellow of the Explorers Club, a past chair of the Arctic Institute of North America, and a fellow and past governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, service for which he was awarded many medals, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. From 2010 to 2013, he traveled through the Arctic Circle, spending time in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland, as he researched and wrote on culture and climate change in the North. He lives in Seeley’s Bay, Ontario.
To learn more about this author, visit the following links: