Touching Spirit Bear- Ben Mikaelsen

Allie Lorance


Garvey is a wise man who is always making sure of Cole's safety and protection. Garvey and Edwin help Cole change his life ways throughout the story and help to make his experience at the island easier.

Peter Driscal

Peter is a shy kid who changes drastically after being bullied and beaten by Cole. Peter becomes suicidal, trying to take his own life twice, and depressed in the next few months that follow. Although he becomes closed to the world, he decides that the only way to get revenge is to hurt Cole physically.

Edwin Garvey

Edwin, like Garvey, is very wise, wants the best for Cole, and is always making sure of Cole's safety. Edwin tries to teach Cole the true meaning of life, to make what you can of it. Edwin helps Cole leave his anger behind, requiring him to bathe in the pond and rol the large rock down the hill every day.

Cole Mathews

Cole is the main character of the story, and also the most dynamic. In the begining of the story Cole is short tempered and takes any opportunity to hurt someone. The first time his is at the island, he fakes his desire to change, using the island as a way to get away from people. He takes his anger out on the supplies available on the island, destroying his food supply and burning his shelter. Luckily, Cole recieves a second chance on the island and learns the importance of life. He sees the beauty in the world and leaves his anger behind.


  • Hotdog- The hotdog Edwin shares with Cole and Garvey represent life because he teaches Cole that who can swallow the hotdog whole with no meaning, or share it with people you care fro and make the best of it.
  • Fire- The fire is a represntation of the anger and distruction Cole had inside of him that needed to be let out and set free.
  • Waves- The waves Cole faces when trying to escape from the island represent barriers in life that you must over come.
  • Cake- The cake is like a recipe for change. All the ingredients have to be right to make a specific outcome. Without one ingredient, the whole cake could be ruined. The ingredients are not tasty by themselves, but when put with other things, it makes an excellent outcome. This is exactly like life. Peace, happiness, love and courage are all needed to make a good life.
  • At.oow- Trust and second chances are represented throught the at.oow becasue Edwin gives it to him because he trusts that Cole will take care of it. When Cole throws it into the burning flames of the fire, it reappears unharmed, as if the blanket was giving Cole a second chance.

Thematic Quote

"A strange thought occurred to Cole: the world was beautiful. Yes, the world was beautiful... He wondered why he had never noticed this all before. How much beauty he has missed in his lifetime? How much beauty has be destroyed?" (Mikaelsen 114)
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I am Cole Mathews
I am short tempered and angry

I wonder if my family loves me

I hear people yelling at me

I see people who want to get rid of me

I want everyone to be scared of me

I am Cole Mathews


I pretend to want to change my ways

I feel regret pulsing through me

I touch the Spirit bears head

I worry if I will die here alone

I cry because i relize my mistakes

I am Cole Mathews


I understand how upset Peter is

I say I have truly changed

I dream my mistakes will be forgotten

I try to show people iv'e changed

I hope my new ways will stay with me

I am Cole Mathews