Best Bear Books

Two books were produced in cooperation with the North American Bear Center and are particularly error free. Both are available in our online store.

  • Bears For Kids (2007) by Jeff Fair was updated and republished in 2007 and is perhaps the most authoritative children’s book on black bears. Photos and text emphasize northeastern Minnesota.
  • Discovering Black Bears (2007) by Margaret Anderson, Nancy Field, and Karen Stephenson.

Books currently in print:

  • Wild Guide: Bears (2005) by Charles Fergus.
  • Grizzly Heart (2002) by Charles Russell and Maureen Enns.
  • Bears of the World (2000) by Lance Craighead.
  • Summers with the Bears (1999) by Jack Becklund.
  • The Wishing Bear (2006) by Jennifer Dziekan (includes a list of bear facts from the North American Bear Center).
  • Grizzly Seasons: Life with the Brown Bears of Kamchatka (2003) by Charlie Russell and Maureen Enns
  • Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance (1985) by Stephen Herrero.
  • Polar Bears (1988) by Ian Stirling.
  • Spirit Bear: Encounters with the White Bear of the Western Rainforest (1994) by Charles Russell.
  • Beauty Within the Beast (2002) by Stephen Stringham. A heart-warming, inspirational true story of a young biologist and his bride helping three wild orphans learn to fend for themselves in the Alaskan wilderness.
  • Bear-viewing in Alaska (2007) by Stephen Stringham. The first and only bear viewing guide, this book describes this continent’s 60 best viewing sites, including the North American Bear Center. It explains how to select those sites best suited to your needs, and how to successfully watch bears in the field.
  • Alaska Magnum Bear Safety Manual (2008) by Stephen Stringham. Finally, a safety manual based on a deep understanding of bear behavior and psychology. Stringham incorporates the wisdom of colleagues like Dr. Lynn Rogers in a book that doesn’t demonize bruins to explain why they occasionally attack people.
  • When Bears Whisper, Do You Listen: Negotiating Close Encounters With Wild Bruins (2009) by Stephen Stringham. Using a rare blend of humor and adventure, this unique book explains step-by-step diplomatic techniques for minimizing risk through gently winning the bears’ trust and respect.

Out-of-print books worth searching for:

  • Great American Bear (1990) by Jeff Fair. The most in-depth treatment of black bears. Special focus on Minnesota. Photos by Lynn Rogers show a wide range of behaviors.
  • Bears: Monarchs of the Northern Wilderness (1993) by Dr. Wayne Lynch is a good reference on all 3 North American Bears. It includes a scientific reference to support each substantive statement, allowing readers to go to the source. Great bibliography, index, photos.
  • Walking with Bears (1999) by biologist Terry DeBruyn presents detailed, close-up observations of Michigan black bears.
  • Bears: Majestic Creatures of the Wild (1993). Written by a panel of experts, this is a good reference on all 8 species of bears worldwide plus extinct species.
  • Bearman: Exploring the World of Black Bears (1989) by Laurence Pringle. Winner of the John Burroughs Award. This book for young readers summarizes biologist Lynn Rogers’ early research findings about black bears around Ely.
  • Bears: Behavior-Ecology-Conservation (1997) by Erwin and Peggy Bauer gives solid information on the three North American species.
  • Great Bear Almanac (1993) by Gary Brown, former superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, includes unique lists of bear facts.
  • Polar Bears: Living with the White Bear (1996) by Russian biologist Nikita Ovsyanikov presents observations he made while walking among polar bears on Wrangel Island armed only with a stick.