Ben Mikaelsen's Touching Spirit Bear was an impressive roller coaster of a book. One theme of the book is that karma is a very prevalent force on this planet. Another is that most things in life work in a circle or cycle like your very existence you are born, you live, and you die. Also everyone can change no matter how bad of a person they are originally it just takes the right catalyst. The author's style is very descriptive and always giving very much detail. This style is the best, but it takes along time to get finished with the book in this style. This book's setting is easily seen because you go from the urban city streets to smack down in nature. The voice is unlike any other I have other heard because at times the main character Cole at times seemed somewhat evil.
The main character in the book is Cole, a troubled teenager that has a court record longer than some streets and has a very short fuse. Cole is the type of character that he seems like anything opposite of good is what he represents and he is okay with that. Cole is very believable because I have known and seen many kids just like him over the years. Some other characters in the book are Cole's pitiful parents who deserve to be exiled in Circle Justice themselves. His whole life his father and mother have been alcoholics and his father even beat upon him all the time. A lot of what is wrong with Cole is because of his parents, but that does not justify him to the evil deeds he does.
The setting is somewhat like my world because I live out in the country pretty close to nature. The author does a good job of painting a very clear and vivid picture of the setting that Cole is in. Sometimes I could feel the cold, splintering rain and the stench of an unwashed body.
In the plot Cole, the main character in the book, is being taken to a remote island because it is apart of an alternative program to reform convicts. He was arrested for beating up a kid that had told on him and Cole felt like he needed to get him back by slamming his head against the pavement. Cole only wants to this program so he does not have to sit in a jail cell and he thinks it will be a year long cake walk, but the spirit bear with some natural helpers helps open his eyes. Will Cole ever straighten up his act? What happens to Cole if he makes it out of Circle Justice?
This book relates to current events because some states in America are starting to use this type of punishment, and legal officials are starting to really considerate it as an alternative form of punishment. This book should be read by anyone because it teaches lessons that will help in the present and future.