Touching Spirit Bear is a fictional novel written by Ben Mikaelsen. Cole Matthews is a 15-year-old. From stealing goods to starting fights, he was nothing but trouble. One day, he robbed and destroyed a store. The police wouldn’t have found out about it if it weren’t for Peter Driscal, a freshman at Cole’s school. Overwhelmed with anger, Cole beats up Peter, smashing his head to the ground. Now his punishment would be even worse. Instead of immediately going to jail, he has the opportunity to go to Native American Circle Justice instead. This was a place where he would be alone, isolated on an Alaskan island for an entire year. They thought this would help Cole, and give him time to rethink himself. At first, Cole finds it very hard to change himself. It’s even harder when he’s constantly holding himself back. After a dangerous encounter with the Spirit Bear, a creature symbolizing patience and honesty, Cole’s entire life turns upside down. He goes along a difficult journey of finding out who he truly is when anger isn't controlling him.
I enjoyed reading this book a lot, one of the main reasons being the ride of emotions it took me on. I really liked that Cole wasn’t a basic main character that everyone roots for. Instead, he had more personality. At many points in the book I felt conflicted on whether or not I should be on Cole’s side. This book was the kind that you never want to put down. I would recommend this book to kids ages 12-15. There is some of violence between Cole and the bear. I would rate this book a 5, as it is one of my favorites and has so many lovable aspects to it.