“The Loneliest Polar Bear: A True Story of Survival and Peril on the Edge of a Warming World,” by Kale Williams (Crown)

Nobody ever asked them if they wanted the job, but polar bears are the global symbols of climate change. That’s the jumping off point for Kale Williams’ excellent new book, which begins with a cuddly cub named Nora.

Abandoned by her mother soon after birth at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, Nora’s story frames the rest of the book, which is part scientific history, part adventure tale. We follow her from zoo to zoo, getting to know the keepers who care for her as she learns how to be a bear without the benefit of a mother or her natural habitat.

The chapters starring Nora are

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