The beautiful thing about books is that people all respond differently to them. Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen is a wonderful coming-of-age story, and I have compiled a list of several others which, in some way, are similar to it (and are also some of my classic favorites). Some are obvious choices, so forgive me if they are not helpful:
The Misfits by James Howe
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.
I have also included the attachment to what I hope is a useful tool. If you type in a book title, there is a button that says "Book Alike: Find Similar Books." Happy reading!
I have two more ideas for you that I just could not think of when I answered your question:
Missing May by Cynthia Rylant
A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements
Of all the books I suggested, it seems to me that A Week in the Woods might be the closest to Touching Spirit Bear.
A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements involves two protagonists: a child and his teacher. At the beginning of the story, both assume they will dislike each other. The events of the story challenge their assumptions and give them both a chance to grow.
Two other favorites that are for a little older age group but are excellent coming-of-age novels are Peace Like a River by Lief Enger and Blue Hole Back Home by Joy Jordan-Lake.
Wow! This is my first time posing a question & I'm elated with the time you invested sharing titles & resources. I am excited to delve into the novels you recommended as I enjoy novels that challenge teens to walk in the shoes of characters who acquire wisdom amidst the trials & tribulations.
Greatly appreciate your time!