In his Napra Nautilus Award-winning novel Touching Spirit Bear, author Ben Mikaelson delivers a poignant 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 from himself.
“Mikaelsen’s portrayal of this angry, manipulative, damaged teen is dead on.”
-School Library Journal (starred review)
"[Cole's] solitary life on the island is just the ticket for Paulsen fans, who will appreciate the survival story."
“Mikaelsen paints a realistic portrait of an unlikable young punk.”
“An excellent companion to Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet and Allan Eckert’s Incident at Hawk’s Hill.”
“[Cole’s story] will fascinate young and old, and have everyone waiting for the sequel.”
-Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)