Touching Spirit Bear
Spirit Bear Series, Book 1eBook - 2010
In his Nautilus Award-winning classic Touching Spirit Bear, author Ben Mikaelson delivers a powerful coming-of-age story of a boy who must overcome the effects that violence has had on his life.
After severely injuring Peter Driscal in an empty parking lot, mischief-maker Cole Matthews is in major trouble. But instead of jail time, Cole is given another option: attend Circle Justice, an alternative program that sends juvenile offenders to a remote Alaskan Island to focus on changing their ways. Desperate to avoid prison, Cole fakes humility and agrees to go.
While there, Cole is mauled by a mysterious white bear and left for dead. Thoughts of his abusive parents, helpless Peter, and his own anger cause him to examine his actions and seek redemption—from the spirit bear that attacked him, from his victims, and, most importantly, from himself.
Ben Mikaelsen paints a vivid picture of a juvenile offender, examining the roots of his anger without absolving him of responsibility for his actions, and questioning a society in which angry people make victims of their peers and communities. Touching Spirit Bear is a poignant testimonial to the power of a pain that can destroy, or lead to healing.
A strong choice for independent reading, sharing in the classroom, homeschooling, and book groups.
From the critics
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green_cheetah_777 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over
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A lot of the books I have to read for school are weird or old, but this one was pretty good. The story follows a juvenile delinquent named Cole, who agrees to participate in Native American Circle Justice to avoid prison after smashing Peter Driscal head into the sidewalk, seriously injuring him. He winds up banished to the Alaskan wilderness. Cole tries to escape and is mauled by a sprit (or a white black) bear. During his banishment Cole learns about himself and what really drove him to hurt Peter. Through a good read, it is a bit violent and dose contain alcohol usage, and should be saved for older elementary students at least. Also, the writing is a bit sloppy, and the ending is unrealistic. on a scale of -3 to 3, I’d give it a 1. A good read, but not the best book ever.
I think this book is very inspirational. How it goes from a stubborn boy who thinks no one loves him so he expresses how he feels by misbehaving then gets punished and heals and forgives then he understands as he realizes who he was, who he is, and who he wants to become.
Frightening or Intense Scenes: Yes there are many scenes in the book involving blood. Also some disgusting scenes like the part where Cole eats insects and 'other' stuff.