Study Guide and Journal Questions for Clay Carmichael's Wild Things


Before you read, why do you think Clay Carmichael titled this book Wild Things?

As you read the novel, list the wild things found throughout the book.

Record each character to help you remember who they are and what their role is in the story.

Describe the emotions between Henry and Zoë in the book.

What does Zoë mean when she says that animal love is purer than people's? (p. 22)

When in the book do you think that Zoë started to trust Henry? Describe that moment and tell why she decided to trust him and if that new trust affected anything that happened afterwards.

During the first snow in October, Zoë and Henry talk about their mothers while they are sitting in front of a warming fire. They both admit that they are not sure they loved their mothers. (pp. 92-95)

Do you think Zoë feels guilty about that? Why or why not?

"The minute you talked about something you risked losing it." (p. 113) What does this statement mean to you?

Helen, Henry's artist friend from New York, says her spirit would die if she couldn't paint.

If you could say that about something in your life--that your spirit would die if you couldn't do something you are passionate about--what would it be?

Uncle Henry stood between the hunter and the white deer in order to protect Zoë.  (pp. 155-156) Who in your life would you choose to stand up for in the face of danger?  Why did you choose this individual?

Give two examples of how Zoë's and Mr. C'mere's experiences or feelings were similar.

Do you think that Zoë will ever see Wil again? Why or why not?

Did you think that it was right when Bessie convinced the group at Henry's for Thanksgiving to take in Harlan?

Write about something that happened in your own life when you stood up to a person or a group to do a good deed for someone else.

Now that you've finished the novel, read your response to the "before you read" question.

Why do you now think Clay Carmichael titled this book Wild Things?


These thoughtful questions and points of departure were kindly provided by Janice Edwards of Durant Road Middle School in Raleigh, North Carolina, and are used with her permission. Thank you, Janice.

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