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Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen
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Touching Spirit Bear (edition 2002)

by Ben Mikaelsen (Author)

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2,4531114,653 (4.05)29
After his anger erupts into violence, Cole, in order to avoid going to prison, agrees to participate in a sentencing alternative based on the native American Circle Justice, and he is sent to a remote Alaskan Island where an encounter with a huge Spirit Bear changes his life.
Member:jmcatee33
Title:Touching Spirit Bear
Authors:Ben Mikaelsen (Author)
Info:HarperCollins (2002), Edition: Reprint, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
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Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

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3.5

This book dealt with some very interesting concepts in a unique way around the idea of spiritual healing instead of punishment. It was a very engaging read, reminiscent of survival stories like [b:Hatchet|50|Hatchet (Brian's Saga, #1)|Gary Paulsen|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1385297074l/50._SX50_.jpg|1158125] which I enjoyed and made this a very quick read. Some of the dialogue was a bit cheesy and was not this books strong suit. However, all the characters were very well developed, especially the MC and in the chapters where he is left alone on the island everything was well written from the descriptions to his internal reflections. I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. ( )
  afrozenbookparadise | Apr 22, 2021 |
As "Touching Spirit Bear" opens, we are introduced to Cole, a truly reprehensible protagonist. But the book is about Cole's recovery as he learns and grows from being an angry and violent juvenile delinquent, to becoming calm, self-controlled, and caring for other people.
After he beats a fellow classmate so badly the boy is hospitalized, Cole is handed over to "Circle Justice," a program of Native American justice that is being introduced in a limited way in his city. The penalty chosen for Cole, is that he is to be put alone on an island in the wilds of Alaska for one year. When he arrives, his only thoughts are anger, blaming everyone but himself for his situation, and figuring out how to escape. But with the help of his caring but firm parole officer and an elder of an Alaskan tribe, who visit him occasionally to bring him supplies and check on him, Cole eventually does begin to heal, and to want to make restitution to the boy he so badly injured. ( )
  fingerpost | Sep 20, 2020 |
For a person who is not a fan of reading, this book always had me eagar to read. Touching spirit bear is an exciting story that allows students to follow were the main character Cole Matthews will go next in each part of the story. I rated this book five out of five stars because it discuss topics that student go through to especially in middle school classrooms. ( )
  Djm065 | Apr 6, 2020 |
Ben Mikaelsen’s Touching Spirit Bear is a wonderful novel about a teen, Cole, whose struggles with anger led to him being put in a juvenile detention center. In an effort to correct his wrongs, Cole goes to stay in Alaska on a barren island for a few months. In the wilderness, Cole finds some Native Americans that help him mentally heal, and he begins to forgive himself and others. This book would be wonderful to use in an ELA classroom. I would use this book in the classroom to introduce students to some Native American culture and help them be able to understand more about pain, anger, and forgiveness that they may encounter in their lives. ( )
  Regan521 | Apr 3, 2020 |
An amazing story of survival and spirituality, this story inspired me and remained with me after it was over.

Cole is a severely troubled teen, locked in an abusive family situation. He deals with his own anger and helplessness by lashing out. But one day he goes too far, nearly killing one of his schoolmates in a fit of rage. Sent to a juvenile facility, Cole is presented with two choices...jail, or a healing program that involves spending three months on an isolated Alaskan island. Reluctantly, Cole opts for the latter.

Cole's journey of healing, begun through a terrifying encounter with the mysterious white "spirit bear" that nearly mauls him to death on the island, is painful and beautiful to watch. With two native tribesmen guiding him through traditional methods of meditation and understanding, Cole slowly and realistically moves through his inner turmoil. But will he be able to gain the forgiveness of his victim...and bring his journey full circle?

A powerful tale of the vitality and resiliance of the human spirit, the healing power of the wilderness, and the painful but rewarding path to forgiveness and acceptance. ( )
  booksong | Mar 18, 2020 |
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Epigraph
Fall seven times, stand up eight. - Japanese Proverb
Dedication
This book is dedicated to Buffy, a seven-hundred-pound black bear who has become my own Spirit Bear. He taught me to be gentle and that I, too, am a part of the Circle.
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Cole Matthews knelt defiantly in the bow of the aluminum skiff as he faced forward into a cold September wind.
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After his anger erupts into violence, Cole, in order to avoid going to prison, agrees to participate in a sentencing alternative based on the native American Circle Justice, and he is sent to a remote Alaskan Island where an encounter with a huge Spirit Bear changes his life.

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Book description
Within Cole Matthews lies anger, rage, and hate. Cole has been stealing and fighting for years. This time he caught Peter Driscal in the parking lot and smashed his head against the sidewalk. Now, Peter may have permanent brain damage–and Cole is in the biggest trouble of his life.

Cole receives a one-year banishment to a remote Alaskan island. There, he is mauled by a mysterious white bear of Native American legend. Hideously injured, Cole waits for death. His thoughts shift from anger to humility. To survive, he must stop blaming others and take responsibility for his life. Rescuers arrive to save Cole's body, but it is the attack of the Spirit Bear that may save his soul.
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