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The Bears of Blue River Paperback – May 20, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Charles Major (1856-1913) was an American lawyer and novelist. Born to an upper-middle class Indianapolis family, Major developed in interest in both law and English history at an early age and attended the University of Michigan from 1872 through 1875, being admitted to the Indiana bar association in 1877. Shortly thereafter he opened his own law practice, which launched a short political career, culminating in a year-long term in the Indiana state legislature. Writing remained an interest of Major, and in 1898, he published his first novel, When Knighthood Was in Flower. The novel about England during the reign of King Henry VIII was an exhaustively researched historical romance, and became enormously popular, holding a place on the New York Times bestselling list for nearly three years. Major continued to write and publish several additional novels, to varying degrees of success, as well as a number of children's adventure stories, most set in and around his native state of Indiana.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1463545614
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463545611
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,427,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Isaac Hinkle on November 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The book "The Bears of Blue River" was a very interesting book for me to read. The content of the book was very simple and quite easy to follow. Children of all ages, along with adults, will find this book hard to put down after they start to read it. This story takes place in Shelby County. One of the main reasons I chose to read this book was because I live in Shelby County.
My grandmother read this book to me when I was in pre-school. I have always remembered about how Balsar, the main character in the book, loved his gun and the outdoors. In this book it talks about how there is a "blowout hole" where the Conns Creek and the Flatrock River flow together. We (Hinkles, my family) actually own property that is on the banks next to the blowout hole. So this was very interesting for me. I too have also explored the many little caves and such that are on the Flatrock River.
I believe this is a wonderful book that boys and girls, even men and women, will be able to enjoy very much. The book has absolutely amazing descriptions of various places in Shelby County. I have found these descriptions to be very accurate, as I have hiked, camped, fished, or hunted on the exact same land the author, Charles Major, described so very well.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Vic Piper on July 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In 2001 my father age 82 mentioned this book as the only one he remembered his father reading to him as a young boy. I'm his son at age 59 and decided to get a library copy for us to read again. Dad doesn't read much anymore but he devoured the book which brought good memories back. I liked it as well because it gave me a family "connection" over 3 generations, and the book is also easy to read and good reading to boot. Our ancestors settled in Indiana in the 1830's and they lived next to the Flatrock River(in the book)Had to buy a copy for family keepsake
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amber DeWitt on November 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Growing up in the small town of Shelbyville, IN, The Bears of Blue River is a must read book. Everyday in the town of Shelbyville, one can be reminded of little Balsar and his adventures. Located around the circle in Shelbyville, stands a statue of Balsar holding the two bear cubs, Tom and Jerry. The statue is part of the history behind Shelbyville.
The Bears of Blue River brings back many wonderful childhood memories. After recess everyday in the fourth grade, my class would gather in the front of the room to hear what exciting adventures were in store for Balsar. The Bears of Blue River puts youngsters on the edge of their seat. I know that I could not wait to see what dangers Balsar would overcome next; I believe this is why I love the book. The pages of this book cannot be turned fast enough. The Bears of Blue River was the book that opened my eyes to the wonderful world of reading. Children are not the only ones who love to read the book, adults enjoy the book as well.
The book depicts what real life was like back in the twenties, something no reality show can duplicate. Harsh winters and fierce animals were only a part of what the Brent family had to encounter, sometimes on a daily basis. The book allows children to relive the life of Balsar and his friends. I think the book could really give children a deeper appreciation of today's way of living.
I am a first year college student, who still to this day thinks that The Bears of Blue River is the most fun and action packed book one can buy. Children and adults of all ages are sure to fall in love with the brave little Balsar and all of his friends.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ada Faye Trambaugh on February 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am an elementary teacher in southern Indiana. I have read the Bears of Blue River to my students almost every year I have taught, which means I have read it to students for over 30 years. The only exception being that the teacher who had the class the previous year, had already read it. My students have always loved it. Many of them would check the book out of the library to read after I had read it to the class. Some of my former students remind me how much they loved that book. It is truly an enjoyable book, not only for kids, but for adults as well.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Greg Ryhal on December 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Growing up in Shelby County, Indiana, the setting for the classic book and home of the annual Bears of Blue River Festival, this book has always held a special place in my heart. It was one of the first books I was ever read in school and as I got older, I found myself in many of the exact places that were used in the book, such as the Blowout Hole which is where the Fire Bear supposedly fell off the cliff and exploded.
The actual story is even more interesting. In that part of Indiana, there are many natural gas pockets deep in the ground. A settler had been burning brush and caused one of these pockets to explode, creating a deep hole (Blowout Hole) where the Flat Rock River and Conns Creek flow together. Both streams flowed backwards for a week, and the windows on houses were shattered for miles around. In fact, a childhood friend of mine lived in one of the nearby houses and it still exhibited a crack from foundation to roof from the mighty explosion. The tiny farming community even made the front page of the New York Times.
Anyways, just wanted to give you some background. If you're ever in the area, go visit the fields and streams south of Waldron, Indiana and your sure to see some of the settings in Majors' book. You'll probably come across a lot of Native American arrowheads and other artifacts as well--if you look close enough.
And if you haven't read the book, do so at once!!!
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