Sunday, August 24, 2008
Touching Spirit Bear
I just finished Touching Spirit Bear a few minutes ago. I didn't think it was going to be as good as it was. I sort of knocked it off as just a middle school book, and I definitely judged the book by its cover. But, it's actually very wise and very entertaining.
I was also interested in reading the book anyway because Ben Mikaelson, the author, came to Albany for the NYSEC's annual gathering a few years back. He gave a wonderful speech that gave us some background on his history and about some of his books. He is a very laid-back and intelligent man. He told us that day about his bear (he lives with a 700 pound black bear!) which was in part an inspiration to this book.
Another inspiration was the true story of a bunch of bears that escaped from the zoo and couldn't return to the zoo; there was nothing to do with them. Ben tried to do all he could, but the state ended up putting down the cubs. Ben almost cried telling the story; he has a strong attachment to bears. He couldn't believe they would do this, but it was cheaper to put them down than to keep them. Very sad.
But, this book is very wise, filled with many insightful passages and realizations that are valuable for anyone at any age. I love how this book focuses on forgiveness and anger, how to truly forgive and pay for wrongdoings. I love the idea of using your mind to overcome a bad thing you have done instead of punishment in prison. When people leave prison, they leave angry. We should use more methods like this to cure people of their hate and anger instead of breed it more while they're there.
The book also has interesting explorations of totems, Native American rituals with dances and ancestor rocks, and the Circle of Justice. Check it out.
Check out the author's website here.
Also, a sequel is coming out, Ghost of Spirit Bear, soon, so check that out as well.
What did you think of Touching Spirit Bear?