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Questions for Ben


What inspired you to write a sequel for Touching Spirit Bear?

I knew from the very beginning that coming back to reality in the big city would be the ultimate test for Peter and Cole.  My publisher wanted to leave that story for its own book.  As such, I had to wait until Touching Spirit Bear became a national best seller before writing the sequel.


How did you figure out what High School is like these days?

I travel five months each year, speaking at schools all over the U.S.  Staying in touch with the students who read my books helps me to relate to the issues and patterns that define this generation.


What advice do you have for kids who are being bullied?

It is so important to understand that those who bully, they do so because of their own fears and feelings of inadequacy.  Don’t blame yourself.  The second thing is so much harder.  There are no magic words to make bullies go away, but it is so important for a student being bullied to believe in themselves.  Someday they will be flying high while the bullies have become failures.

Have you ever spent time in Minneapolis, MN?


Although I went through high school and college in Minnesota, I chose Minnesota because it is one of only a couple of states who are pioneering the use of Circle Justice.  More often it is called Restorative Justice.


Which character was harder to create in this book, Cole or Peter?



In reality I could relate to both Peter and Cole.  At one time in my life I was very much a victim like Peter.  But my anger also took me down a dark road where I became a bully.  Maybe dredging up the memories of when I was angry like Cole was the hardest.  Those were memories I thought I had put behind me for good.


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