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Okay- I attended elementary school at an old school building that was a former high school. A lot of the library was left as it had been, including a rather vast (to me) science fiction section that had lots of Golden Age titles.
One that I can recall the basic story line of, but not the title of, features a boy (teenager?) and his trusty (possibly psychic?) dog in a far-future/post-apocalyptic rural setting. The main mode of transportation were flying boats (on the super dynamic cover painting they looked like a cross between a mahogany sport boat from the 40's and a Flash Gordon rocket) . The kid's hero's journey featured a giant bear (really, really giant if the cover was any indication).
Yep- flying boats, giant bear.. it wasn't exactly Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

I recall the painted cover to be fairly amazing- the giant bear standing in front of a waterfall- the kid and the dog in a flying boat (they called them 'sleds' maybe?). I've wracked my brain for the title and for some reason I think it may have had 'golden' or 'giant' in it? That might be way off base, as I've googled this plot extensively to no avail.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Sorry, it was during the 1970's that I attended elementary school. The book in question was probably from the 40's or 50's- judging by the artwork and the writing style. – Johnny99 May 12 '16 at 23:15
  • If I recall, there had been some sort of depopulation... the setting was almost colonial or frontier-like, aside from the flying boats, of course. – Johnny99 May 13 '16 at 0:15
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The Golden Enemy by Alexander Key? 1969. The boy's name is Jaim; his dog is Doubtful. Jaim has an 'air sled'.

https://www.librarything.com/work/1686916/covers

It's the primitive civilized future, and the few men have long since stopped slaughtering the few animals--or have they? When a great golden bear appears, panics the goats into trampling the crops and himself destroys the store of food, only Boy Jain (sic) asks why the others are bent on killing the beast. But Boy Jain is not just humane, he's telepathic, and, sensing that something big is brewing, tries to pry the answer from the bear...- Kirkus

  • That is most definitely it. Thank you, Frock, I greatly appreciate it. – Johnny99 May 13 '16 at 11:23

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