Touching Spirit Bear

This Saturday, after a belly full of lunch, I found myself mentally too tired to lesson plan and physically too lazy to take care of laundry.  Therefore, I had two options.  A. Take a nap and risk messing my sleep schedule up or B. Lounge on the couch and read a book.  Obviously by the title of this blog post, I opted for option B. 

I finally cracked open "Touching Spirit Bear" by Ben Mikaelson. The exposition immediately grasped me with hints, or foreshadowing, of the trials the main character would have to overcome in the story.  My text-to-text connections during the first chapter included another favorite book 'Seven Most Important Things'.  Both main characters have a run in law.  Both main characters have to endure the man vs. self struggles of overcoming anger issues which end up derailing their lives into a terrible mess.  Most importantly, both books make of point of showing how our individual actions, good or bad, have a huge impact on others around us.  In fact, our lives are not independent, but vines that grow together. 

Past the exposition, this book did not fail my attention. To be honest, I gave up my entire Saturday afternoon to finish the book.  The entire story is about a young boy named Cole, who is sentenced to serve time in a remote island off Alaska.  "Served time" is not a correct description, but really you would have to read the novel to understand how Cole ends up lucky enough to be left on an island to eat mice, worms, and swim in freezing cold rivers.  

The title points to the center of Cole's focus, which is meeting the Spirit Bear.  The Spirit Bear represents more then just dangerous wildlife which almost kills Cole.   In fact, I believe Spirit Bear represents the negativity the we each must overcome in life.   Negative thoughts,  negative emotions, or negative experiences.  

Overall, this book combines survival of the fittest (think Hatchet), mistakes (think Seven Most Important Things), and an ending of friendship and confidence to do the right thing (think Wonder).  It's definitely one worth reading and will keep your interest.  

Ann Abell