Finding Your Roar
Finding Your Roar
My dream was always to be a children’s author. To one day be able to walk into a bookshop and see MY books on the shelves – to see my stories and my voice out in the world. There was one small problem. As a child I was chronically shy. So shy, I was too afraid to speak up in class or ever share any of my stories.
It took many years to realise that even shy people are capable of achieving of big goals. And so, in 2019 I sat down to write my debut children’s book.
Inspired by my deep love of animals, The Last Bear tells the story of a 11-year-old girl who meets, befriends and then saves a wild polar bear. The book was never intended to have an environmental angle – at heart I just wanted to focus on this extraordinary friendship between girl and bear. But as I started researching Arctic habitat, it soon became clear that it was impossible to write a story about a polar bear without referencing the melting ice-caps.
The Last Bear was a book written from my heart. It’s an adventure story with a powerful emotional heart. And despite its Arctic setting, something about it struck a universal chord with readers all around the world. Since its publication in the UK in 2021, it has now been published into 25 different languages, including Arabic, won multiple awards and become a bestseller.
Lovely as this all was, I soon came to realise that the best part of being a children’s author was not the external recognition, but the impact I was able to make – including shining a spotlight on these incredible animals who so desperately need our help.
As Bear teaches April the power of her own roar, I would love everyone to know, no matter how small or shy you may feel on the inside, you’re never too small to change the world.
Voice of Hannah Gold
Hannah Gold worked in the film and magazine industries before taking time out to pursue her dream of writing. She lives in the UK with her tortoise, her cat and her husband. The Last Bear was her middle-grade debut which became an inspirational, international bestseller on release in 2021 and has gone on to win a multitude of national awards including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award 2022. Hannah’s books have sold over 290,000 copies worldwide and have been translated into 25 languages. She is also an ambassador for Whale and Dolphin Conservation (https://uk.whales.org/).
Favourite book right now?
Go Toxic Free by Anna Turns. By a well-known British environmental journalist, this book is fantastic for providing practical everyday tips to rid your house (and your body!) of toxic chemicals.
Favourite lesson at school?
Not really a lesson but it has to be storytime! Each Friday afternoon, we curled up on beanbags and listened, enrapt, as our teacher read the latest chapter of our classroom read. Books play such a huge, but undervalued role, in creating empathy and action in our children of tomorrow.
I always get asked this question in schools and my answer is always the same. ALL animals as each lifeform plays an integral role in the eco system of our planet. ALL animals deserve greater love and respect.
Lucy from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe as I desperately yearned to travel through the wardrobe into Narnia and meet some talking animals!