Escape with “Boys, Bears and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots”

During high school, we have the chance to redefine ourselves  — to distance ourselves from our parents and experiment with defining ourselves through our friends, our music, our activities, our beliefs.

In Boys, Bears and  a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots by Abby McDonald, the author cleverly confronts the idealism of high school environmental activism in a real world situation,  and we all learn from the experience.

More than anything, Jenna is a Green Teen. She leads the Green Teen group at her New Jersey suburban high school and spends her time organizing protests and writing letters to Congress, encouraging recycling, and protecting endangered species. She doesn’t understand why everyone else isn’t as passionate about the environment as she is. When she spends the summer with her godmother Susie in a remote town in Canada, Jenna’s love for the great outdoors and nature are challenged, repeatedly. A disastrous kayak experience, a few cold showers, and a frightening trip through the woods have Jenna sticking close to the house. Her best friend isn’t returning her calls, and Susie’s step-daughter Fiona is more sullen goth nightmare than fun roommate. The local boys are intruging, and two of them seem interested in Jenna, especially once she stop spouting environmentally-friendly advice and tries to just be friendly instead.

Will Jenna be able to distance herself from her Green Teen teachings and learn to live happily in the Canadian wilderness? Which of the small town guys really likes her, Reeve or Ethan? Will the summer end before Jenna can sort out her feelings about boys, avoid the bears, and break in her new pair of hiking books?

Check out Boys, Bears and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots for a delightful eco-friendly romance — it’s available as a printed book in the YA Fiction section of the library and it’s also available as an ebook for checkout and download from

Lissa Staley

Lissa Staley helps people use the library. She is a Book Evangelist, Health Information Librarian, Trivia Emcee, Classics Made Modern book group leader, NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison, Community Novel Project leader, HUSH podcaster, and frequent library customer. She reads a new book every few days, but recently enjoyed Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley.