Fort Negley Nashville Tenn

Fort Negley Nashville Tenn
Nashville Skyline from Fort Negley in Tennessee

Friday, May 19, 2017

"Bear in the Back Seat- Adventures of a Wildlife Ranger" by Kim DeLozier and Carolyn Jourdan

During our recent trip to the Gatlinburg area and the Great Smoky Mountains, I wanted to take a book with me relating to the park and the area to read.  There are some interesting ones...  some of which I have brought up here before (I mentioned another similar book by Ranger Dwight McCarter here). 

On this trip, I took Ranger Kim DeLozier and Carolyn Jourdan's fun and easy to read book, "Bear in the Back Seat: Adventures of a Wildlife Ranger in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park" with me.

Kim DeLozier is basically giving fun, interesting, and sometimes sad stories about his adventures, mostly relating to bears and other wild animals, as a Ranger in the Great Smoky Mountains.  Each chapter is a short, stand alone tale where Kim talks about a personal adventure that happened to him.  This is one of those great books that can be appreciated by anyone.  Very young readers will find the short chapters easy to read and understand.  The whole book has enough substance to make a veteran book reader feel like they are getting a lot for their money with this one too.

DeLozier really opens himself up here too.  He isn't trying to falsely write an account of a big, heroic ranger.  He is very honest about mistakes he makes.  He lets the reader know that there have been times in his career (early on) when he was more worried about how he would appear to people watching him than doing his job correctly.  In the back of the book he even (humbly) prints a list of things he learned while being a ranger.  He also talks about having to euthanize animals (for humane reasons, and for the safety of humans).  The author is open about his mistakes and his feelings- making him a very relatable person.

Ranger Kim also gives the reader a lot of great stories relating to skunks, squirrels, falcons, cows, wild hogs, and poachers... but the stars of the book are easily the bears.  Motherless cubs, elderly bears, and bears willing to do anything to get back to the Smokies once taken away are all main characters.

Kim's main reason, I believe, for writing this book is to educated people about bears in the park, and how to help protect them.  He stresses the importance of leaving them alone and not feeding them.  He explains very clearly that feeding the animals (and teaching them to feel comfortable around people) LITERALLY leads to death for wild animals.

"Bear in the Back Seat" is a great book about animals in the most visited National Park in America.  The stories are sweet and touching and they are written in a very personal way, by a Ranger we can all relate to.  This book gets my highest possible recommendation.


Carolyn Jourdan said...

Thank you so much for this lovely review.
Kim and I would really appreciate it if you'd post the review on Amazon or iTunes, too, if you get a chance. : )

jimerado said...

Hey Carolyn, thanks for stopping by and commenting! Sorry for the delay in responding....
Yes! I will try to get around to that in the next few days! Hope all is well!