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June 23, 2013

Touching Spirit Bear -Read-Aloud Round Up Book Share

I was so thrilled to find this fun linky party on Pinterest last week!  I have been looking for something similar for a while now and was starting to think of hosting it myself.  It looks like Mr. Hughes from Created by Mr. Hughes beat me to it and saved me some work! ;)  

What a great way to find lists of book reviews for every grade!  My contribution for the linky is for Grades 7 and 8. 

A colleague suggested Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen as a read-aloud for these grades and it is an amazing book.  The main character is Cole, a fifteen year old boy who has been stealing, and fighting for years.  After almost beating a boy to death and causing severe brain damage, Cole has to choose between going to jail and Native American Circle Justice.  Choosing the Circle Justice, Cole is banished to a remote Alaskan island where he is completely isolated and must learn to survive on his own.  Mauled by a mysterious white bear, Cole nearly dies.  The attack changes his life forever.

As I read this novel, I knew right away that it will be a huge hit with my students (eventually).  So, I went browsing on the Internet for some teaching resources on the novel, and I was so excited to find an entire novel study for Touching Spirit Bear for FREE!  It includes pre-reading activities that explain what Circle Justice is, character descriptions, handouts and questions and activities for each chapter (with answer keys).  Love it!

Touching Spirit Bear has a sequel called The Ghost of Spirit Bear.  Although I didn't enjoy that book as much as the first one, it's also a very good read for pre-teens or teenagers.  Cole is now back home and back at school after his year-long exile on the remote island.  Gangs and violence play a huge role at the high school he goes to and Cole must face the rage buried deep down in him once again.  It deals a lot more with bullying and intimidation.

Do you have any great read-alouds that you'd like to share with the teaching world?  Head on over to link up!


  1. :( The page (link) doesn't exist -- help! Are you able to share the freebies with me via my school email?

  2. I'm thinking of reading this to my sixth graders next semester. I haven't quite decided on that yet, but I think it might be one they'd enjoy. Thanks for sharing!


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