by Marta Maretich
A Gemma Open Door book
“Don’t we all, secretly, want to transform? To be a bird in the sky, a fish in the river, a fox in the woods? The Bear Suit explores this very human impulse in original and surprising ways…anyone who has ever gone camping or who just thinks about it a lot will enjoy this wonderful and engaging story about being in nature and the wilds of the American West.”Rollo is tired of humans. Their cities are dirty, and their gizmos are dumb. He knows mankind is wrecking the planet. Rollo’s dream is to escape to the Sierra Nevada Mountains where he can live alone and be free of other people. There’s just one problem with his scheme: Rollo’s hungry human stomach. No matter how much food he carries in his backpack, he always runs out. Inevitably, Rollo has to come back to the “messed-up, man-made world” or starve. All this changes when Rollo finds an old, dusty, bear suit in a costume shop. He’s got a plan! But what seems like the perfect solution at first will bring unexpected results and change Rollo’s life forever—in ways he could never have imagined.
—Sharman Apt Russell, author of Diary of Citizen Scientist, winner of 2016 John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing
The Bear Suit Reading Guide
In a varied career, Marta Maretich has been a teacher, a publisher, a journalist, an editor, and a fiction writer. She is the author of three novels: The Merchants of Light (2015), The Possibility of Lions (2011), and The Bear Suit (2017). Her short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in many publications and been anthologized in collections including Inspired Journeys: Travel Writers in Search of the Muse (2016). She has been awarded artist residencies at the Eastern Frontiers Educational Foundation at Norton Island and Yaddo. Born in Nigeria and raised in California, Marta has lived in London since 1995.
The Bear Suit
Paper, 100 pages
Reading level: 3.7