Ghost of Spirit Bear Review (The sequel to Touching Spirit Bear) | Teen Ink

Ghost of Spirit Bear Review (The sequel to Touching Spirit Bear)

September 20, 2018
By ahmontgomery PLATINUM, Eminence, Kentucky
ahmontgomery PLATINUM, Eminence, Kentucky
23 articles 13 photos 44 comments

“Speak when you are angry - and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.” - Laurence J. Peter. This quote was written by a man that very few people have ever heard of. However, there is one book that I believe illustrates this quote almost immaculately. This book was written by Ben Mikaelsen, I’m not sure if he had ever heard this quote before, but his book The Ghost of Touching Spirit Bear embodies this quote with an interesting twist.

The Ghost of Touching Spirit Bear is the sequel to an equally interesting book named: Touching spirit bear. The Ghost of Spirit Bear is about a boy (Cole) who is being reintroduced to society after having been in exile, after being condemned through circle justice; on an island after assaulting one of his peers (Peter). As Cole is getting used to his life back in civilization, he faces many obstacles. Cole begins to attempt to use many of the methods that had helped him cope with anger in the past. All of his attempts fail and through his journey he tries to find new ways to deal with his anger.

Cole begins to create a Circle Justice system and movement in his school that works very well. I would recommend this book to any teens who struggle with anger or bullying. There are many things I love about this book including: the way that it explores seeing a story from every angle and perspective possible. This book also encourages many interesting research topics such as: Tlingit Indians and the Circle (restorative) justice system.

I love the way this book shows how not everything in life is black and white, good or bad, but, there is one instance in which this book somewhat fails to show this topic. Circle (restorative) Justice is a large topic throughout this book as well as the book that came before it. However, Ben Mikaelson chose to (almost) completely ignore the fact that Circle Justice is not perfect and does not always help all of the people who were affected. Despite this, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

Throughout the story, Cole has to learn that there are many ways to deal with those who have done you wrong. He learns to use his words, brain, and heart in a way that was not harmful to others. I think we could all learn a thing or two from Ben Mikaelsen’s Touching Spirit Bear and Ghost of Spirit Bear. Maybe, we too could learn that not everything is the way it seems and that anger is inevitable, but negative consequence is not.

The author's comments:

This was an assignment for my English class, but what I wrote is true. It is a truly wonderful story that every teen should read.

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