Touching Spirit Bear I just finished re-reading Touching Spirit Bear, a children’s novel (older elementary and middle school, grades 4-8) by Ben Mikaelsen.  The main character, Cole, has been physically and emotionally abused by his father since he was very little, and he lashes out at others as a result.  The author, Mikaelsen, takes up this serious issue and writes about it sensitively and without resorting to profanity or vulgarity.  As a parent and a teacher, I appreciate that.  

After years of being in trouble with the law and after severely beating a younger child, Cole must face either prison or “Circle Justice”, a Native American way of dealing with anger and violence.  Cole doesn’t submit to Circle Justice easily, and his anger, rebellion and his eventual forgiveness of others and himself are skillfully portrayed in the story. 

The story reminds me of these two other incredible children’s books:


  My Side of the Mountain
It’s a survival story like the Hatchet and My Side of the Mountain.  However, it deals with much more than simple physical survival.

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11 Responses to “Touching Spirit Bear”

  1. janjanmom Says:

    I’ve only recently found you, Median Sib. I am glad you blog and my daughter will appreciate the book recommendations!

  2. carol Says:

    Thanks, janjanmom. I’m so glad you stopped by. The three books mentioned in this post are all excellent.

  3. Dalton Says:

    Hey everyone I am nervouse still but i do want to say my story and respond to spirit bear. I read it when i waw 17 and in the 11th grade now im 18. When i read the book i thought it was cool at first but then i started to notice that he had problems like me and i could relate to him, it was like i could see myself in him my dad abused me verbally and physically but im still trying to find myself and become a better person to this day i still find it a challenge to talk to him about what he did to me i get scared and nervouse but im learning that we need to talk especially since im still affected today and so i hope this letter can help someone anyone thanks for reading.

  4. Sammy Says:

    hehhe this books was cool

  5. Yoda Says:

    book fascinating

  6. Bob Cat Says:

    Wow! Amazing! Fantastic! Woderful! Wow! What an amazing book! It was fantastic and wonderful! I really want to happily fantasticly wonderfully amazingly read it again! It made me tickle inside! Tee-hee! HAPPY!HAPPY!HAPPY!HAPPY!HAPPY!HAPPY!HAPPY!HAPPY!HAPPY!HAPPY!HAPPY!HAPPY!HAPPY!HAPPY!

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