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. Visit Scholastic, the world's largest children's book publisher. Whether you need a classic kids book or classroom-proven teaching materials, discover it at. Free summary and analysis of the events in Ben Mikaelsen's Touching Spirit Bear that won't make you snore. We promise.
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Touching Spirit Bear. Ben Mikaelsen. DEDICATION. This book is dedicated to Buffy,. a seven-hundred-pound black bear who. has become my own Spirit Bear. Touching Spirit Bear book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Cole Matthews is angry. Angry, defiant, smug--in short, a b. 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.
Ben Mikaelsen's depiction of a juvenile delinquent's metamorphosis into a caring, thinking individual is exciting and fascinating, if at times heavy-handed. Cole's nastiness and the vivid depictions of the lengths he must go to survive after the equally vivid attack by the bear are excruciating at times, but the concept of finding a way to heal a whole community when one individual wrongs another is compelling. The jacket cover photo of the author in a bear hug with the pound black bear that he and his wife adopted and raised is definitely worth seeing! Ages 12 and older --Emilie Coulter. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving….
How can he break this cycle?
What is your opinion of the Native American Circle? Is that a fair way to deal with problems?
If you got in trouble, would you want to go through one? Cole starts carving a totem. What animals or symbols would be on a totem you created to represent yourself?
At what point in the novel do you think Cole starts to take responsibility for his actions? Do you believe in the spirit bear?
How does the attack by the spirit bear change Cole? One theme that runs throughout this book is that everything in life is a circle. Where do you see that in the book? Do you believe in that in your own life?
He's unrepentant and even though he is facing serious jail time, his kindly parole officer, a man named Garvey, gets him into this Native American justice program called Circle Justice.
The idea is that his sentencing will be focused on healing rather than punishment—and the Circle Justice elders tell him that he'll be going to a remote island in Alaska for a year in order to live off the land and think about his mistakes.
Cole goes along with this because he doesn't want to go to jail, but deep down inside he's just planning to escape as soon as they leave him alone on the island.
Garvey and an elder named Edwin drop Cole off at the island. As soon as they leave, Cole torches the shelter and tries to swim over to the next island over in order to escape and never return.
But the tide keeps pushing him back in, and eventually he has to return to shore and wait it out. Before he can try escaping again, Cole runs into Spirit Bear—a huge, all-white bear that Edwin told him was a spiritual being. Instead of respecting Spirit Bear, though, Cole tries to kill him…which leads to the bear mauling him and leaving him bleeding and in pain. Cole almost dies during this time period, but in the process, he thinks a lot about his life and how he's made some serious mistakes.
Before he can die, Edwin and Garvey come back and find him and take him back to safety. Thanks, guys.
Cole returns to Minneapolis his hometown , where he recovers and is pretty sure that he's going to get sent to jail after squandering his time on the island. He also spends more time with his mother, who apologizes for not being there for him in his childhood. His father, however, doesn't visit because he's been arrested for child abuse—finally—after hurting Cole for years.
In the end, Edwin and Garvey advocate for Cole to return to the island because they've seen a change in him.
So after he recovers physically, they take him to the island and drop him off again. This time, Cole takes his time on the island seriously. He does everything that Edwin tells him to do, including soaking in a freezing cold pond every morning and rolling an "ancestor rock" up and down a big hill.