BEARTOWN by Fredrik Backman, a 2017 publication

Those of us on the Texas Gulf Coast (I am located 30 miles south of Houston and 30 miles north of Galveston) are not used to waking up to 19 degrees with “feels-like” numbers of 9. We have shut everything down for the past two days since we are not equipped for sleet, snow, and frozen precipitation of any kind. Upon waking up, I thought I must be in Northern Beartown (a fictional town) deep in the forest where ice hockey is equivalent to life. Everything in Beartown revolves around hockey, and the high school Junior Ice Hockey team are the stars of the town, approaching a state championship. The players are celebrities, envied by students and adults( some former ice hockey stars themselves) alike. These young men are taking on their shoulders the hopes and dreams of their beloved Beartown.

As the team approaches the finals, there is a shocking act of violence.  Was it rape? Is the reader to believe Kevin, the superstar, or Amhed, the janitor’s gifted son, who is a recent addition to the team? What happens to an individual who dares to “go against the grain” and challenge the superstar hockey team? “…like ripples on a pond, [events] travel through all of Baytown, leaving no resident unaffected.”

This novel was reviewed and recommended by blogger friend, James J. Cudney, author of Watching Glass Shatter and the blog, “This Is My Truth Now.” I listened to it on CD’s (11 discs/418 pages) and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  The one drawback, which may have been accentuated because I listened to it, was the rough language. However as a veteran of junior high school teaching, the language was appropriate because it is exactly what high school young men would use.

You will be as caught up in Beartown’s story: its inhabitants, its team, its school administration and local government, and most of all, its high schoolers and their families, as I was.


Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 plus years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

10 thoughts on “BEARTOWN by Fredrik Backman, a 2017 publication”

  1. Yes… we are being scoured by bitterly cold winds and a lot of the country is being blanketed by snow. Fortunately living right down on the south coast, we should escape this. I hope you feel a lot warmer soon. This one sounds great:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are going to freeze again tonight, then have two days of warmer (up to the 60’s and wet) for a couple of days then another freeze. That’s the old cliche about Texas weather: wait a day or so and it will change. The book was a good one–had something for all readers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad you enjoyed the book, Rae. And best of luck with your freeze and then warmer and wetter. We had a real gale last night – next door’s fence panel is down, but luckily we escape intact. Some poor souls further east are facing this weather with no power today…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This one was a good one. I enjoyed it as well. Being Canadian, hockey is our national sport so that originally drew me in, but the drama and intrigue was even better. Hope your weather improves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has started to warm some, but now it looks like rain. Uncover the plants so they are watered or keep them covered in case it freezes again? Decisions, decisions… Glad you liked Beartown. I didn’t think I would, but I sure did!

      Liked by 1 person

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