Touching Spirit Bear

Novel by: Ben Mikaelsen/Project by: Bryson Dean


Cole: Cole is a young teenager who thinks he is tougher then the world and can overcome any challenge. Throughout the story he learns that he is part of nature and just a pawn in a game of chess.

Peter: Peter is a smart boy but after getting in a fight with Cole, he begins to think his life is worthless and is unwilling to forgive Cole because he is afraid of him. In addition, he is stubborn.

Garvey: Garvey sees life and nature as the same thing. He thinks he can help Cole because he was in the same position years back and is willing to help him overcome the challenges of the island. Apart from this, he is humorous and determined.

Edwin: Edwin does not trust Cole, yet is trying to help him, he too was in Cole's position and knows what worked for him and helps steer Cole in the right direction.

Thematic Quote:

""Could it be because every part of a circle is both a beginning and an end?" Garvy asked. "And everything is one?""

Everything in life is a circle. Regardless of what it is, it has a beginning and an end to it. In addition, there are other beginnings and ends within this big one. For example, in order to be forgiven you have to receive forgiveness from the one you hurt and yourself in order to move on in the biggest circle of all...Life.

Symbolism & Motifs


Circle: Life is a circle and has beginnings and ends.

Spirit Bear: The spirit bear symbolizes hope for Cole.


Hot Dog: You control your life and what happens in it.

Spirit Bear Attack: Sometimes in life we get knocked down and beat up, this is what tests our determination and ability to recover.

Fire: This symbolizes Cole's anger and how it boiled up and ruined everything people had tried to do for him.

I Am Poem

I am Cole Mathews.

I am angry and determined.

I wonder if I am just a part of nature.

I hear the low growl of the spirit bear.

I see lightning striking a tree.

I want Peter to forgive me.

I am Cole Mathews.


I pretend I am my anger.

I touch the spirit bear's white coat.

I worry I have ruined my life.

I cry for Peter's state.

I am Cole Mathews.


I understand I did something wrong.

I say forgiveness is a circle.

I dream that the circle will be complete.

I try to convince people that I have changed.

I hope I really have.

I am Cole Mathews.


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"DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy." DNAeXplained Genetic Genealogy. N.p., 25 Apr. 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. <>.