Reading guide for Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver

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Wolf Brother

The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Book 1

By Michelle Paver

Wolf Brother
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  • Hardcover: Feb 2005,
    295 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2006,
    320 pages.

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About this Book

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Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

About the Book

After his father is killed by a demon-possessed bear, Torak is left alone in the ancient Forest to find his way to the Mountain to ask the World Spirit for help. Captured by the Raven Clan, Torak learns about his father’s past and why the Soul-Eater created the demon bear. Led by his guide, a young orphaned wolf, and with the aid of a young woman who helps him escape from the Raven Clan, Torak seeks to fulfill the promise he made to his father—that he would find the Mountain, or die trying. During their arduous journey to the Mountain, Torak must locate the three most powerful pieces of the Nanuak in order to gain the World Spirit’s help. Only then will it be possible to vanquish the demon bear, but Torak’s battle with evil is far from over.


Pre-reading Activity

Create packets with information about prehistoric clans from different continents. Divide the class into small groups and assign each a prehistoric clan to research. With the help of the packets, ask students to research the traditions and culture of their clan. What is the hierarchy within the clan? How is their culture different or similar to cultures in today’s world?


Discussion Questions

  1. Why is Torak so upset and bewildered by his dying father’s insistence that he swear to find the Mountain of the World Spirit (pp. 7–8)? Does Torak understand why his father has asked him to find a mountain that he thought was imaginary?
  2. What does Torak’s vision, when he finds the lone wolf cub, have to do with his father’s prediction that Torak’s guide will find him (p. 19)? Do you think Torak has any idea at this point what his connection is with Wolf?
  3. Wolf calls Torak a Tall Tailless and considers him a pack-brother. Why doesn’t Wolf respond in a similar manner to Renn? Does Wolf’s opinion of the female tailless change with time? If so, why?
  4. What does Torak do to stop the fight with Hord? Why does this self-protective action change the way Fin-Kedinn views Torak (pp. 78–84)? What do the legends say and how does Torak’s action foretell of his identity? Why doesn’t Torak know about the Clan legends that are so familiar to the rest of the people? Do you think Torak’s lack of knowledge helps or hinders him in his quest?
  5. Hord tells Torak about his time with the Red Deer Clan and what he knows about the demon bear (pp. 90–91). How does Hord’s involvement with the demon bear’s creation relate to his overpowering need to be the one who saves the Clans? Do you think Hord can think rationally, based on what he knows and has seen?
  6. Torak escapes from captivity because he is helped by one of the Raven Clan (pp. 110–113). Why does Renn help Torak? What does she know about Torak’s quest to find the Mountain of the World Spirit and the future of their people? If you had been in Renn’s place, knowing what she knows, would you have gone with Torak on his quest?
  7. Who is the Walker and why do you think he does not refer to himself as "I"? What role does he play in helping Torak on his search for the Nanuak (pp. 163–171)? Do you think Torak’s father knew the Walker? If so, what was their relationship and how does it affect Torak’s quest?
  8. When Torak and Renn are caught in the snowstorm, he must decide between protecting the Nanuak and risking it to save Renn. Do you think he made the right decision? How does Renn feel about his decision (p. 237)? What would you have done in Torak’s place?
  9. How do the Soul-Eaters relate to the crippled man who created the demon bear (pp. 266–267)? Are they part of the reason why Torak’s father kept him away from the Clans? Whom was he trying to protect Torak from? Do you think Torak’s father made the right decision?
  10. In the end . . . the World Spirit destroys the demon bear. In return, does the Spirit receive the payment it wants? Does this mean the terror is over and the Clans can live in peace and harmony? Do you think Torak’s quest has come to an end? If not, what is he seeking and what or who do you think he will battle next?

Visit www.wolfbrother.com to learn more about this exciting series!

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of HarperTrophy. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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