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Touching Spirit Bear


 On Sale: 21/12/2004
 Formats:     Paperback | Hardback | Paperback
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After severely injuring Peter Driscal in an empty parking lot, troublemaker Cole Matthews is in major trouble. But instead of jail time, Cole is given an alternative: a one-year banishment to a remote Alaskan island. This program—called Circle Justice—is based on Native American traditions that provide healing for the criminal mind. To avoid serious jail time, Cole resolves 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 violent anger cause him to examine the root of his troubled ways.

Author Ben Mikaelson delivers a poignant depiction of the vicious cycle of violence and one boy's journey to healing.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

Book Description

Will the attack of the Spirit Bear destroy Cole's life or save his soul?

Cole Matthews has been fighting, stealing, and raising hell for years. So his punishment for beating Peter Driscal senseless is harsh. Given a choice between prison and Native American Circle Justice, Cole chooses Circle Justice: He'll spend one year in complete isolation on a remote Alaskan island. In the first days of his banishment, Cole is mauled by a mysterious white bear and nearly dies. Now there's no one left to save Cole, but Cole himself.


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Awards for Touching Spirit Bear

  • California Young Reader Medal
  • Beehive Award (Utah)
  • Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award (Minnesota)
  • Flicker Tale Children's Book Award (North Dakota)
  • Golden Sower Award (Nebraska)
  • Nevada Young Readers’ Award
Critical Praise for Touching Spirit Bear

“Mikaelsen’s portrayal of this angry, manipulative, damaged teen is dead on.”
— School Library Journal (starred review)

ISBN: 9780060734008; ISBN10: 0060734000; Imprint: HarperTeen ; On Sale: 21/12/2004; Format: Paperback; Trimsize: 4 3/16 x 6 3/4; Pages: 320; $9.99; Ages: 8 to 12; BISAC1:JUV002030; BISAC2:JUV039180; BISAC3:JUV039050

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Red Midnight Red Midnight
When guerrilla soldiers strike Santiago's village, they destroy everything in their path -- including his home and family. Santiago and his four-year-old sister escape, running for their lives. But the only way they can be truly safe is to leave Guatemala behind forever. So Santiago and Angelina...
Ghost of Spirit Bear Ghost of Spirit Bear
Alone in the wilderness, Cole found peace. But he's not alone anymore. Cole Matthews used to be a violent kid, but a year in exile on a remote Alaskan island has a way of changing your perspective. After being mauled by a Spirit Bear, Cole started to heal. He even invited his victim, Peter Driscal...



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