Noah is not having a good year.
His mom is in prison, he's living with his mom's boyfriend—who he's sure is just waiting until his mother's six month sentence is up to kick him out—and he's officially hated by everyone at his middle school, including his former best friend. It's Noah's fault that the entire football program got shut down after last year.
One day, Noah notices a young bear at the edge of the woods with her head stuck in a bucket. A bucket that was almost certainly left outside as part of a school fundraiser to bring back the football team. As days go by, the bear is still stuck—she's wasting away and clearly getting weaker, even as she runs from anyone who tries to help. And she's always alone.
Though Noah ignores the taunts at school and ignores his mother's phone calls from jail, he can't ignore the bear. Everyone else has written the bear off as a lost cause—just like they have with Noah. He makes it his mission to help her.
But rescuing the bear means tackling his past—and present—head-on. Could saving the bear ultimately save Noah, too?
AuthorBy Beth Vrabel
ImprintSky Pony Press
Published6 February 2018
Dimensions5.50 x 8.25in.
About the author
Beth Vrabel is the award-winning author of A Blind Guide to Stinkville, A Blind Guide to Normal, Caleb and Kit, and the Pack of Dorks series. She can't clap to the beat or be trusted around Nutella, but indulges in both often, much to the dismay of her family. She lives in the Dallas, Texas area. Visit her online at www.bethvrabel.com.
"A boy, desperate and broken, and a young bear with its head caught in a bucket: Vrabel sensitively interweaves these two disparate plotlines. . . . Noah's first-person narration is spot-on, age appropriate and full of anger with brief flashes of insight. The trope is well-worked; this effort rises above the pack, believable and ultimately uplifting. Engrossing, satisfying, and compassionate." —Kirkus Reviews
"Masterfully written. Vrabel explores tough topics with compassion and grace." —Lynn Rush, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
"Beth Vrabel doesn't disappoint in this touching tale of a boy and a bear. She creates a lovable but flawed character—a raw portrayal of someone who has been dealt some bad cards and made poor decisions, who readers are left rooting for. Bringing Me Back speaks to a wide audience." —Natalie Rompella, author of Cookie Cutters and Sled Runners
"What price do we pay for our parents' mistakes? Beth Vrabel brings deep compassion and unexpected humor to the story of a boy and a bear trapped by poor choices and circumstances beyond their control—and shows how courage and resilience can heal even the most injured among us." —Melissa Hart, author of Avenging the Owl
Praise for A Blind Guide to Normal:
"Vrabel has an eye for sympathetic, offbeat characters -- and a knack for feel-good resolutions." - Kirkus Reviews
"Once in a great while I read a book and want to immediately email the author to thank them for writing it. A Blind Guide to Normal is one of those books. It's filled with kindness, friendship, and hope. Lots of hope. Just beautiful." - Kerry O’Malley Cerra, author of Just a Drop of Water
Praise for A Blind Guide to Stinkville:
"Most commendable is Vrabel's focus on compromise and culture shock. Disorientation encompasses not only place and attitude, but also the rarely explored ambivalence of being disabled on a spectrum. … Readers who worry about fitting in—wherever that may be—will relate to Alice's journey toward compromise and independence." - Kirkus Review
Praise for Pack of Dorks:
"Vrabel displays a canny understanding of middle-school vulnerability." - Booklist
"The challenging subject matter is handled in a gentle, age-appropriate way with humor and genuine affection." - School Library Journal