Emory's Gift by W. Bruce Cameron is different from Cameron's A Dog's Purpose in an important way. A Dog's Purpose was a book about a dog and the various lives it lived until finally, the dog found its reason, or purpose, for living.
Emory's Gift, while featuring a grizzly bear, is about Charlie Hall, a thirteen-year-old whose mother has died. He is dealing with his own grief, his own guilt, and trying to fit in at junior high school.
His father has withdrawn in his own grief and the two almost never really talk. They coexist, but there is no real communication between them.
In the beginning of the book, Charlie doesn't really have any friends. When he is fishing alone in the creek behind his house in the Idaho countryside, he is threatened by a cougar. Charlie is sure he's a goner.
That is, until the cougar runs away and Charlie turns around to find a grizzly bear behind him.
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