Never Cry Wolf Topics for Discussion
by Farley Mowat

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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Mowat pokes fun at government bureaucrats who plan research projects without being properly informed. How does he make these government authorities look silly? Do you consider this an effective method of expressing his disappointment with the policymakers?

2. Concerned by the decline in caribou herds, the Canadian government sends Mowat to study the effect of wolves on caribou populations. How do the government's expectations affect Mowat's initial attitude? Do you think this limits his ability to study the wolves objectively?

3. George, Angeline, Albert, and the pups make up a single wolf family. In what ways is this wolf family much like a human family?

4. How does the Eskimo myth of the creation of the wolf actually describe the wolfs role in the continuation of a healthy caribou herd?

5. Has Never Cry Wolf been effective in changing the public's attitude about wolves and their place in the environment? Do people in general still fear wolves?

6. What actions win Albert the title "Good Old Uncle Albert"?

7. Ootek claims to understand wolf language. Do you find this believable? Why or why not? What other explanations could there be for his demonstration?

8. Mowat tells us that wolves do indeed hunt caribou. What strategy do they use to catch the larger, generally faster caribou? What does the presence of a strategy suggest about wolf behavior and intelligence?

9. Mowat comes to Wolf House Bay to perform a scientific study of wolves. What scientific experiments does he perform? Do you believe he is a good scientist?

10. The epilogue of Never Cry Wolf tells of the setting of poisoned traps at Wolf House Bay. Is this an effective ending for the book? Why does Mowat end the story this way?