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Q&A | February 27, 2014

Rene Denfeld: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Rene Denfeld



Describe your latest book. The Enchanted is a story narrated by a man on death row. The novel was inspired by my work as a death penalty... Continue »
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Touching Spirit Bear

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Touching Spirit Bear Cover

ISBN13: 9780380805600
ISBN10: 038080560x
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Within Cole Matthews lie anger, rage and hate. Cole has been stealing and fighting for years. This time he caught Alex Driscal in the, parking lot and smashed his head against the sidewalk. Now, Alex may have permanent brain damage'and Cole is in the Biggest trouble of his life.

Cole is offered Circle Justice: a system based on Native American traditions that attempts to provide healing for the criminal offender, the victim and the, community. With prison as his only alternative, Cole plays along. He says he wants to repent, but in his heart Cole blames his alcoholic mom his, abusive dad, wimpy Alex — everyone but himself — for his situation.

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

Ben Mikaelsen paints a vivid picture of a juvenile offender, examining the roots without absolving solving him of responsibility for his actions, and questioning a society in which angry people make victims of their peers and communities. Touching Spirit Bear is a poignant testimonial to the power of a pain that can destroy, or lead to healing

Review:

"Mikaelsen paints a realistic portrait of an unlikable young punk." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Mikaelsen's portrayal of this angry, manipulative, damaged teen is dead on." School Library Journal (starred review)

Review:

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

Synopsis:

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

Synopsis:

Whatever you do to the animals, you do to yourself. Remember that.

Ben Mikaelsen's provocative portrait of Cole, an angry teen who chooses banishment to a remote Alaskan island over detention as punishment for a brutal attack, has captivated reviewers and readers. A BookSense 76 pick in hardcover and a nominee for multiple state young reader awards, Touching Spirit Bear examines the alternative Native American Circle Justice against a backdrop of high action.

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 10 comments:

Shadow , November 28, 2012 (view all comments by Shadow )
Touching Spirit Bear
by: Ben Mikaelsen

I really like touching spirit bear it is a really good book for all levels of reading, 6th grade and up. It teaches a great lesson to Cole, a young man who needs to find a reason to live in life. There is one quote that really stands out to me and that quote is, ‘’my fault’’ this is a good quote that was reminding me throughout the whole book that Cole did realize something. I think the overall theme of this book teaches a great lesson about always being able to change for the better. This is a great book for anyone that is looking for a good, quick reading, and lesson teaching book.

Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
S A, March 15, 2012 (view all comments by S A)
My first impression of this book is that it is good overall but there are some weak spots. Much of the dialogue seems a little too stiff and structured to be real. I have also found that while circle justice is practiced in some states it is implausible that someone would be put on a remote island with their attacker. The worst part of this book was the stiff dialogue, it never flowed or went anywhere. THe best part of this book were the descriptions of events and scenery that painted a vivid picture in my mind. Once again this was a good not great book with excellent descriptions and faulty dialogue.
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(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
kylewh16, March 15, 2012 (view all comments by kylewh16)
I thougth that this book was pretty interesting. It kept my attention and was interesting. I think that there needs to be more action though. It is not like other books. It seems like it has it's own category. The characters fit in and are interesing to learn about. I like how some of the characters changed and bacame better. I think that it should have taken a little bit more time and adventure to do it though. The book is good with describng things too. You can almost always imagine what is going on in your head. Still, I do recommend it to all ages and interests.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780380805600
Author:
Mikaelson, Ben
Publisher:
HarperCollins
Author:
by Ben Mikaelsen
Location:
New York
Subject:
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - General
Subject:
Indians of north america
Subject:
Ethnic - Native American
Subject:
Social Situations - General
Subject:
Social Situations - Emotions & Feelings
Subject:
Animals - Bears
Subject:
Social Situations - Violence
Subject:
Forgiveness
Subject:
Child abuse
Subject:
Anger
Subject:
Juvenile delinquents
Subject:
Tlingit Indians
Subject:
People & Places - United States - Native American
Subject:
Social Issues - Emotions & Feelings
Subject:
Social Issues - Violence
Subject:
Indians of North America -- Alaska.
Subject:
Children s-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series Volume:
no. 431-S
Publication Date:
20020430
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 5
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
7.61x5.19x.59 in. .38 lbs.
Age Level:
09-12

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Related Subjects


Children's » General
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Emotions and Feelings
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Violence
Young Adult » General

Touching Spirit Bear Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages HarperTrophy - English 9780380805600 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Mikaelsen paints a realistic portrait of an unlikable young punk."
"Review" by , "Mikaelsen's portrayal of this angry, manipulative, damaged teen is dead on."
"Review" by , "[Cole's story] will fascinate young and old, and have everyone waiting for the sequel."
"Synopsis" by , 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

"Synopsis" by , Whatever you do to the animals, you do to yourself. Remember that.

Ben Mikaelsen's provocative portrait of Cole, an angry teen who chooses banishment to a remote Alaskan island over detention as punishment for a brutal attack, has captivated reviewers and readers. A BookSense 76 pick in hardcover and a nominee for multiple state young reader awards, Touching Spirit Bear examines the alternative Native American Circle Justice against a backdrop of high action.

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