Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen
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Cole Mattews has been violent and destructive for most of his 15 years, but when his beating of Peter Driscal results in brain damage, Cole is forced to face the consequences. Sent to an island in the harsh climes of Alaska, he must fend for himself for a year. Initially thinking that he can escape the island, the troubled teen is set upon by a giant white bear. This savage attack is the beginning of Cole's transformation from a brutal, angry boy into a sensitive, changed individual.