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Large Print - 2017
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Winning a junior ice hockey championship might not mean a lot to the average person, but it means everything to the residents of Beartown, a community slowly being eaten alive by unemployment and the surrounding wilderness. A victory like this would draw national attention to the ailing town: it could attract government funding and an influx of talented athletes who would choose Beartown over the big nearby cities. A victory like this would certainly mean everything to Amat, a short, scrawny teenager who is treated like an outcast everywhere but on the ice; to Kevin, a star player just on the cusp of securing his golden future in the NHL; and to Peter, their dedicated general manager whose own professional hockey career ended in tragedy. At first, it seems like the team might have a shot at fulfilling the dreams of their entire town. But one night at a drunken celebration following a key win, something happens between Kevin and the general manager's daughter--and the next day everything seems to have changed. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected. With so much riding on the success of the team, the line between loyalty and betrayal becomes difficult to discern. At last, it falls to one young man to find the courage to speak the truth that it seems no one else wants to hear
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2017
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781410498120
Characteristics: 689 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
large print
Additional Contributors: Smith, Neil (Neil Andrew), - Translator
Alternative Title: Bjornstad
Other Standard Identifier: 9781410498120


From the critics

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Jul 09, 2021

This was a good book. The story was a tough one, but it was well written and engrossing. Not disappointed, Fredrik Backman is a strong storyteller with guts and tenacity to tell a bad story in this excellent book.

Jun 20, 2021

This is the first novel I've read by Fredrik Backman. I plan to read more of him! I find him to be quite an adroit story teller. I love how in-depth he draws his characters. Also how he leaves these little 'easter eggs' about what's going to happen without actually giving it away. I was expecting to come away saddened by the ending once I learned who it was that was killed by whom. (That suspense kept me turning pages.) How it resolved was a surprise - and much more satisfying.

May 27, 2021

on hockey, eye on puck?
not a book I'd pluck.
in Beartown I were stuck,
of the world awestruck.

Sturm und Drang.
Slick craft, dualities heap;
Stock characters go deep.
Social issues grew steep;
Culture sway, values keep.
Bears sleep, wolf on sheep,
Who weep...Maya can sweep.
Bang, bang, bang!

Feb 20, 2021

I have read 5 books by Fredrik Backman and loved every one of them until Beartown. I do not like the culture of sports with winning as the ultimate goal as opposed to learning teamwork and personal growth. Until the violent event that drives the second half of the novel, I really disliked the book intensely. I especially hated the ostracism, prejudice, and homophobic attitudes that characterized the players without constraint. Mr. Backman's novels have always been ones of hope or humor, but this one had not humor for me. I don't want to give away the ending, so I will not say more. I still recommend the author heartily! Kristi & Abby Tabby

Jan 08, 2021

Beartown is a fictional novel that centers around a small town whose citizens live for hockey. The story follows the perspective of different people throughout the town, and their thoughts and actions when a shockingly tragic event strikes their community. I would highly recommend this book, as it carries many different themes and stories within it. It addresses hard topics in an honest and insightful way. It has a bit of a slow start, but ends up completely captivating and gripping you. This is an incredible read, but it does include descriptive depictions of sexual assault, which can be triggering to some.

Dec 31, 2020

What I love about this book is that the community feels like a character who has an active impact on the plot. There are so many secondary characters that make the city feel real, like a place you could find yourself in by chance during a road trip. A thrilling exploration of how private trauma can become distorted and manipulated by public drama.

Nov 09, 2020


ArapahoeKarenQB Oct 01, 2020

I loved A Man Called Ove, so I had high expectations for this book. It's very different. In many ways, it's a tough read (sexual assault), and the misogyny of some of the characters is pretty hard to stomach. I thought it was pretty good, but I wasn't crazy about it. I did like the ending.

Sep 08, 2020

I really liked this a lot.
The way Backman unfolded the ending, I've never experienced an unpacking like that (novice reader).
The character development at the start was worrying me a bit, was getting overwhelmed by nearly meeting the whole town.
I am picking up the sequel this afternoon. Back to back Backman!

Aug 23, 2020

I am definitely not a fan of hockey, but I enjoyed this book very much. I finally understand how wrapped up people become in a sport. This book crosses all generations. It's about love and hatred and loneliness and pride and character and parenting and being a teenager and LIFE. Terrific book.

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Another morning comes. It always does. Time always moves at the same rate, only feelings have different speeds. Every day can mark a whole lifetime or a single heartbeat, depending on who you spend it with.

Jan 27, 2020

"there are few words that are harder to explain then "loyalty".Its always regarded as a positive characteristic, because a lot of people would say that many of the best things people do for earth other occur precisely because of loyalty. The only problem is that many of the very worst things we do to each other occur because of the same thing. " One of the many, many thoughts I loved in this book.

Sep 26, 2019

"The only time I'm not moving forward is when I'm taking aim."

Sep 26, 2019

We become what we are told we are. Ana has always been told that she's wrong.

Dec 27, 2018

You've never been alone. You just need to be better at choosing the company you keep.

Aug 02, 2017

“She’s fifteen, above the age of consent, and he’s seventeen, but he’s still “the boy” in every conversation. She’s “the young woman”.

Words are not small things.”
― Fredrik Backman, Beartown

letstakeashelfie Jun 22, 2017

"There's a thin line between living and surviving, but there's one positive side effect of being both romantic and very competitive: you never give up." -p.123

Jun 02, 2017

“Community is the fact that we work toward the same goal, that we accept our respective roles in order to reach it. Values is the fact that we trust each other. That we love each other…. For me, culture is as much about what we encourage as what we actually permit.” - p. 210

Jun 02, 2017

“People sometimes say that sorrow is mental but longing is physical. One is a wound, the other an amputated limb, a withered petal compared to a snapped stem. Anything that grows closely enough to what it loves will eventually share the same roots. We can talk about loss, we can treat it and give it time, but biology still forces us to live according to certain rules: plants that are split down the middle don’t heal, they die.” - p. 138

Jun 02, 2017

“One of the plainest truths about towns and individuals is that they usually don’t turn into what we tell them to be, but what they are told they are.” - p. 73

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JCLEmilyD Sep 09, 2017

Violence: rape


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