The book begins with a 15-year-old thug namedCole Matthews, who beats up Peter Driscoll for telling on him.
Peter is left with permanent and severe brain damage, which causes him to stutter.
Cole goes to jail for beating up Peter,and he gets a Native American parole officer named Garvey.
Instead of going to prison, Garvey gives Cole the option of CircleJustice, which is a system thatrequires Cole to apologize and learn to controlhis anger with a punishment that is relevant to the person’s situation.
The Circledecides, withGarvey’s help, that Coleshould live on an Alaskan island all by himself for a year.
When Cole arrives at the island, he burns the cabin that Garvey builtfor him. He tries toswim away, but the tide pushes him back.
He sees a white bear near him, andbecause Cole is angry and it is in histerritory, he goes and tries to kill it.
Will Cole kill the bear, or will thebear maul him todeath? Will Cole turn his life around and get out of trouble? Find out in Touching Spirit Bear, by Ben Mikaelsen.