Spark and the League of Ursus
By Robert Repino
March 24, 2020
Published by Quirk Books
The code of the League of Ursus states, “Bears serve. Bear watch. Bears protect. Always and forever” (Repino, 35). After the beast Jakmal enter Loretta’s room and tries to kidnap her, it is up to her teddy-bear Spark and the other members of the League of Ursus to uphold the code and stop this beast from stealing their owners. Loretta’s older brother Matthew and their friend Sofia have already been kidnapped by Jakmal; can Spark save the kids and Loretta before it’s too late? Teaming up with Matthew’s teddy-bear Sir Reginald, Loretta’s sock-monkey Zed, and neighborhood toys Ozzie, Lulu, and Rana, Amazon Princes ™, Spark prepares for the most important battle of her life. Though they may look cute, these teddy-bears can be deadly when trying to protect the ones they love.
Repino masterfully blends whimsy and horror in this thrilling middle grade novel. There are some particularly gruesome battle scenes that describe the mutilation of some of the teddy-bears. Of course, being teddy-bears, they can patch themselves up with relative ease helping to alleviate some of the horror being described. Intense from the start, this book poignantly deals with issues of growing up, loss, and finding one’s purpose. A perfect novel for those who wished that Toy Story was more action packed.