Cole Matthew is NOT someone to be messed with. He’s your typical angry, violent juvenile delinquent who thinks that the only way he can get respect from others is by having them fear him. He's had a pretty rough life: both his parents are alcoholic and his father is abusive, so Cole deals with it by lashing out at those around him. This, however, doesn’t go so well after Cole goes too far and smashes a classmate’s head into the sidewalk. After that incident Cole has only two choices: Jail or Circle Justice. The choice seems obvious to Cole, so he agrees to be sent to an Island in the middle of nowhere and is confident that he will not let the experience change him. Despite what Cole thinks, it would be hard not to rethink your life after spending days without food and cold nights on a deserted island, on which your only companion is a bear that doesn’t exist.
Touching Spirit Bear is an inspiring story about a boy who gets a chance to turn his life around. In this excellent novel, Mikaelsen paints vivid pictures of the characters, the surroundings, and the emotions taking place, and I would recommend it to anyone because the theme of this story is something that everyone can relate to.