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About Ben Mikaelsen
Ben Mikaelsen has won the International Reading Association Award and the Western Writers Golden Spur Award. His novels have won critical acclaim, as well as several state reader's choice awards. These novels include Rescue Josh McGuire, Sparrow Hawk Red, Stranded, Countdown, Petey, and Touching Spirit Bear. His newest book is "Jungle of Bones". Ben's articles and photos appear in numerous magazines around the world. Ben and his wife, Connie, live in a log cabin near Bozeman, Montana, and they adopted a 700-pound black bear that they raised for 27 years.
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In his Nautilus Award-winning classic Touching Spirit Bear, author Ben Mikaelson delivers a powerful coming-of-age story of a boy who must overcome the effects that violence has had on his life.
After severely injuring Peter Driscal in an empty parking lot, mischief-maker Cole Matthews is in major trouble. But instead of jail time, Cole is given another option: attend Circle Justice, an alternative program that sends juvenile offenders to a remote Alaskan Island to focus on changing their ways. Desperate to avoid prison, Cole fakes humility and agrees to go.
While there, Cole is mauled by a mysterious white bear and left for dead. Thoughts of his abusive parents, helpless Peter, and his own anger cause him to examine his actions and seek redemption—from the spirit bear that attacked him, from his victims, and, most importantly, from himself.
Ben Mikaelsen paints a vivid picture of a juvenile offender, examining the roots of his anger without absolving him of responsibility for his actions, and questioning a society in which angry people make victims of their peers and communities. Touching Spirit Bear is a poignant testimonial to the power of a pain that can destroy, or lead to healing.
A strong choice for independent reading, sharing in the classroom, homeschooling, and book groups.
In award-winning author Ben Mikaelsen’s riveting sequel to the acclaimed word-of-mouth bestseller Touching Spirit Bear, readers will be captivated by what Booklist calls a “hugely satisfying resolution.”
Life in the wilderness—exiled from civilization as a punishment for his violent behavior—had its own set of hurdles, but for fifteen-year-old Cole Matthews, it's returning home and facing high school that feels most daunting.
With gangs and physical altercations haunting the hallways of their school, Cole and his former victim Peter—who Cole has now become friends with—must face it all together.
So when Peter’s limp and speech impediment make him a natural target for bullies, Cole’s suppressed rage comes bubbling to the surface a lot quicker than he anticipated. Will he throw everything away that he learned on the healing, remote Alaskan island?
In this tale of survival and self-awareness, Cole realizes it's not enough to change himself. He has to change his world.
They call Gabriela Tree Girl. Gabi climbs trees to be within reach of the eagles and watch the sun rise into an empty sky. She is at home among the outstretched branches of the Guatemalan forests.
Then one day from the safety of a tree, Gabi witnesses the sights and sounds of an unspeakable massacre. She vows to be Tree Girl no more and joins the hordes of refugees struggling to reach the Mexican border. She has lost her whole family; her entire village has been wiped out. Yet she clings to the hope that she will be reunited with her youngest sister, Alicia. Over dangerous miles and months of hunger and thirst, Gabriela's search for Alicia and for a safe haven becomes a search for self. Having turned her back on her own identity, can she hope to claim a new life?
Dylan Barstow has finally crossed the line. After getting caught on a late-night joyride in a stolen car, Dylan is shipped off to live with his ex-Marine uncle for the summer. But Uncle Todd has bigger plans for Dylan than push-ups and early-morning jogs.
Deep in the steamy jungles of Papua New Guinea, there's a WWII fighter plane named SECOND ACE that's been lost for years, a plane that Dylan's own grandfather barely escaped from with his life. In all this time, no one has ever been able to track down SECOND ACE -- but now Dylan and his uncle are going to try.
Lush and haunted, vital and deadly, these alien jungles half a world away could mean Dylan's salvation, or they could swallow him whole.
When guerrilla soldiers strike Santiago's village, they destroy everything in their path -- including his home and family. Santiago and his four-year-old sister escape, running for their lives. But the only way they can be truly safe is to leave Guatemala behind forever. So Santiago and Angelina set sail in a sea kayak their Uncle Ramos built while dreaming of his own escape. Sailing through narrow channels guarded by soldiers, shark-infested waters, and days of painful heat and raging storms, Santiago and Angelina face an almost impossible voyage hundreds of miles across the open ocean, heading for the hope of a new life in the United States.