Fifteen-year-old Cole Matthews has been angry his whole life, and he takes his anger out on everyone around him. When he faces prison time for beating up a fellow student, he sees 'Circle Justice' as a way to beat the system. A Native American tradition, 'Circle Justice' attempts to heal the offender, the victim, and the community. When the Circle decides Cole's punishment will be one year alone on a remote Alaskan island, Cole figures he will simply swim away. He burns his shelter and supplies, is mauled by a large white 'spirit bear', and is nearly killed. When he is finally rescued, he spends 6 months in the hospital. Upon his release, Cole must convince the court and the 'Circle' that he has truly repented. Will Cole take responsibility for his actions? Will he ever return to the island? Can he help the student he beat up?
Similar authors: Gary Paulsen, Will Hobbs
Awards nominated: Rebecca Caudill Nominee 2004
Date read: 6/28/2011