The Eye of the Wolf discussion guide



Author: Daniel Pennac

Publisher: Walker Books

Suggested Year Group: Upper juniors, years 5 and 6


The wolf has lost nearly everything on his journey to the zoo, including an eye and his beloved pack. The boy too has lost much and seen many terrible things. They stand eye to eye on either side of the wolf's enclosure and, slowly, each makes his own extraordinary story known to the other...

Rationale for Selection

Eye of the Wolf is a challenging read with layers of narrative which keep the reader engaged and raises questions about what it really means to see from another’s point of view. It won the Marsh Award for children’s literature in translation 2007. This book is well suited to guided reading and also whole class reading.

Points for Discussion:

These notes give some pointers as to things you might want to explore with your group but they do not replace the need to know the text  well. Select and adapt to suit your group.

During Reading

How they Met

  • P11. ‘the wolf frowns’ What do we learn about the wolf’s attitude to humans and his life in the zoo from this passage?
  • ‘So you want to stare at me?’ What can we tell about the boy from this passage?
  • Who is telling this story?
  • Whose viewpoint is presented in the first sections and how does it affect the story?

The Eye of the Wolf

  • What do we think about the way wolves see humans?
  • Black Flame says, ‘What is a human being? A human being is a collector.’ What does this mean?
  • What is the relationship like between the wolf and the boy at the end of this chapter? How and why have things changed?

The Human Eye

But the boy knows that a name doesn’t mean anything without the name that goes with it. It’s like a wolf in a zoo: he’s just another animal until you get to know his life story.

Section Two:

  • What is happening to the boy in this section?
  • Who is the woman who gives Toa the money to take him? Why does she think he will be a storyteller one day?
  • Are storytellers important?

The Other World             

  • P102 ‘The walls of the town seemed a prison to him. He was alone in the world. All alone…’ Why do you thin Africa feels like this?
  • P107 Blue Wolf thinks that Africa is a ‘strange human being’. Do you agree? Is he different from other people? Why do you think that?
  • Reread the first chapter and discuss what we now know about where  the boy and the wolf met.
  • Have you found any new meanings in the first section now that you have talked about it together?
  • What do you think about the way the story has been told?


Copyright: Just Imagine Story Centre Ltd

All rights reserved.

These notes may be printed freely for use in classrooms but may not be reproduced in any other format without the permission of the author.

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