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Touching Spirit Bear
Contributor(s): Mikaelsen, Ben (Author)

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ISBN: 0380977443     ISBN-13: 9780380977444
Publisher: HarperCollins
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Binding Type: Hardcover - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: January 2001

Annotation: Sent to a remote Alaskan island as part of an alternative program after attacking a classmate, Cole Matthews has a chance to straighten out his life. On this island, Cole's rage and isolation lead him to a brazen attack on the Spirit Bear of Native American legend, and the clumsy assault ends with Cole mauled nearly to death, desperately clinging to the life he had tried so hard to waste.

Click for more in this series: Spirit Bear
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Young Adult Fiction | Social Themes - Physical & Emotional Abuse (see Also Social Themes - Sexual
Dewey: FIC
LCCN: 00040702
Age Level: 12-15
Grade Level: 7-10
Lexile Measure: 730(Not Available)
Series: Spirit Bear
Physical Information: 1.1" H x 5.8" W x 8.3" (0.70 lbs) 256 pages
- Ethnic Orientation - Native American
- Geographic Orientation - Alaska
Features: Dust Cover, Ikids, Price on Product
Awards: Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Book Award, Nominee, Grades 4-8, 2004
Golden Sower Award, Winner, Young Adult, 2004
Nutmeg Book Award, Nominee, Teen, 2006
Nevada Young Readers' Award, Winner, Young Adult, 2003
South Carolina Childrens, Junior and Young Adult Book Award, Nominee, Young Adult, 2003
Iowa Teen Award, Nominee, Young Adult, 2004
Charlotte Award, Nominee, Young Adult, 2004
Black-Eyed Susan Award, Nominee, Grades 6-9, 2003
Texas Lone Star Reading List, Commended, Young Adult, 2002
Nautilus Award, Winner, Young Adult, 2002
Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award, Nominee, Grades 9-12, 2005
Golden Archer Award, Winner, Middle/Junior High, 2004
Sequoyah Book Awards, Nominee, Young Adult, 2003
Beehive Awards, Winner, Young Adult, 2003
Flicker Tale Children's Book Award, Winner, Juvenile, 2002
Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award, Winner, Grades 6-8, 2004
Evergreen Young Adult Book Award, Nominee, Young Adult, 2004
Young Reader's Choice Award, Nominee, Intermediate/Grades 7-9, 2004
Spur Awards, Finalist, Children-Y/A Fiction, 2002
Sunshine State Young Reader's Award, Winner, Grades 6-8, 2004
Review Citations: Kirkus Review - Children 01/01/2001 pg. 54
Booklist 01/01/2001 pg. 940
School Library Journal 02/01/2001 pg. 122
Hornbook Guide to Children 01/01/2001 pg. 324 - Marginal, Seriously Flawed
ALA Best Books Young Adults 03/15/2002 pg. 1228
Hornbook Guide to Children 07/01/2001 pg. 324 - Marginal, Seriously Flawed
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 45132
Reading Level: 5.3   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 9.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:

In his Nautilus Award-winning classic Touching Spirit Bear, author Ben Mikaelson delivers a powerful 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 Matthews is in major trouble. But instead of jail time, Cole is given another option: attend Circle Justice, an alternative program that sends juvenile offenders to a remote Alaskan Island to focus on changing their ways. Desperate to avoid prison, Cole fakes humility and agrees 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 own anger cause him to examine his actions and seek redemption--from the spirit bear that attacked him, from his victims, and, most importantly, from himself.

Ben Mikaelsen paints a vivid picture of a juvenile offender, examining the roots of his anger without absolving 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.

A strong choice for independent reading, sharing in the classroom, homeschooling, and book groups.

Contributor Bio(s): Mikaelsen, Ben: -

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.

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