From Chapter 1
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In Chapter One, we are first introduced to Cole Matthews, a juvenile delinquent, who is on the way to an Alaskan village to be subjected to Circle Justice—a term we only later come to understand. Cole broke into a store illegally, but when he bragged about it to one of his classmates, Peter Driscal, Peter turned him in. In revenge, Cole beat Peter up very badly, causing Peter head trauma and a permanent speech problem. Cole was taken back into juvenile detention. When Garvey, his juvenile detention officer, proposes that he choose Circle Justice instead of the possibility of being tried in an adult court, Cole immediately starts looking into the option.