Touching Spirit Bear
Audio book - 2001
Lee Tergesen lends his resonant voice to a five-hour,
four-cassette, unabridged reading of "Touching Spirit
The book was written by Ben Mikaelsen, and it's an adventure
story with strong moral underpinnings. It's written for youths --
the target reader is 9 to 12 years old -- but the story is gripping
and full of good lessons for any age.
The audio book adds another layer to the experience; Lee's
reading adds texture and dimension to the story.
A review in AudioFile magazine noted:
"Lee Tergesen faces
the formidable task of portraying a thoroughly unsympathetic main
character in a manner that offers the listener a reason to
That main character is Cole Matthews, an angry 15-year-old. He is
described as a "baby-face con man" who's been
fighting and stealing and lying for years. He's also been beaten
regularly by his father and neglected by his mother. His crimes and
rage finally escalate to the point that he beats another boy
The links at right give a good summary of the story, including
this one, by Emilie Coulter for Amazon.com:
"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."