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Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelson is a novel that resonates with young adult readers. Cole Matthews is filled with rage, and he steals and fights as a result of it. When he catches Peter Driscal in the school parking lot one day, he beats him so severely that Peter could be left with permanent brain damage. When trying to decide Cole’s punishment, it is decided that Cole will experience a Native American custom known as circle justice which is intended to bring healing to all involved. Cole plays along, but has no real intention of allowing himself to learn from the experience. Cole is banished for one year to a wild and remote Alaskan island, during which he struggles against dealing with his rage against an alcoholic mother and a father who is abusive. When he is attacked and left for dead by the mysterious spirit bear, he comes to many realizations. He is rescued and his life is saved, but his interaction with the spirit bear saved his soul.
Enotes has some great references and sources to this book. Check them out at the following link.
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