Ghost of Spirit Bear

Ghost of Spirit Bear

Ben Mikaelsen

Young Adult / Fiction / Realistic Fiction

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 he’s not sure he can handle. 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 to the 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 teenage survival and self-awareness, Cole realizes it's not enough to change himself. He has to change his world.
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Touching Spirit Bear

Touching Spirit Bear

Ben Mikaelsen

Young Adult / Fiction / Realistic Fiction

Cole Matthews is angry. Angry, defiant, smug--in short, a bully. His anger has taken him too far this time, though. After beating up a ninth-grade classmate to the point of brain damage, Cole is facing a prison sentence. But then a Tlingit Indian parole officer named Garvey enters his life, offering an alternative called Circle Justice, based on Native American traditions, in which victim, offender, and community all work together to find a healing solution. Privately, Cole sneers at the concept, but he's no fool--if it gets him out of prison, he'll do anything. Ultimately, Cole ends up banished for one year to a remote Alaskan island, where his arrogance sets him directly in the path of a mysterious, legendary white bear. Mauled almost to death, Cole awaits his fate and begins the transition from anger to humility. Ben Mikaelsen's depiction of a juvenile delinquent's metamorphosis into a caring, thinking individual is exciting and fascinating, if at times heavy-handed. Cole's nastiness and the vivid depictions of the lengths he must go to survive after the (equally vivid) attack by the bear are excruciating at times, but the concept of finding a way to heal a whole community when one individual wrongs another is compelling. The jacket cover photo of the author in a bear hug with the 700-pound black bear that he and his wife adopted and raised is definitely worth seeing! (Ages 12 and older) --Emilie Coulter
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Tree Girl

Tree Girl

Ben Mikaelsen

Young Adult / Fiction / Realistic Fiction

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? Ages 12+
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Red Midnight

Red Midnight

Ben Mikaelsen

Young Adult / Fiction / Realistic Fiction

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.
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Jungle of Bones by Ben Mikaelsen [Paperback]

Jungle of Bones by Ben Mikaelsen [Paperback]

Ben Mikaelsen

Young Adult / Fiction / Realistic Fiction

Lost and alone in the jungle, one boy will have to let go of his assumptions and anger, or be dragged down with them. 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.
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Jungle of Bones

Jungle of Bones

Ben Mikaelsen

Young Adult / Fiction / Realistic Fiction

Lost and alone in the jungle, one boy will have to let go of his assumptions and anger, or be dragged down with them.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.
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