Touching Spirit Bear

Touching Spirit Bear

By Ben Mikaelsen

HarperCollins Publishers, Hardcover, 9780380977444, 256pp.

Publication Date: January 2001


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.

About the Author
Ben Mikaelsen is the winner of the International Reading Association Award and the Western Writers of America Spur Award. His novels have been nominated for and won many state reader's choice awards. These novels include Red Midnight, Rescue Josh McGuire, Sparrow Hawk Red, Stranded, Countdown, Petey, and Tree Girl. Ben's articles and photos appear in numerous magazines around the world. Ben lives near Bozeman, Montana, with his 700-pound black bear, Buffy.

Praise For Touching Spirit Bear

“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."
-The Bulletin

“Mikaelsen paints a realistic portrait of an unlikable young punk.”
-Kirkus Reviews

“An excellent companion to Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet and Allan Eckert’s Incident at Hawk’s Hill.”
-ALA Booklist

“[Cole’s story] will fascinate young and old, and have everyone waiting for the sequel.”
-Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)