Why did Miyax put down her cooking pot and creep to the top of the dome-shaped frost heave?
Describe her predicament.
How did Miyax's father die?
Describe how Miyax was able to lure the Arctic ground squirrel to her hands.
What indication was there that the black wolf was the leader of the pack?
From whom had Miyax learned patience with the ways of nature?
Why do living things in the Arctic tend towards compactness?
Where had Miyax been living?
Explain what Miyax meant when she stated she was without a compass.
Why had Miyax chosen San Francisco as her destination?
Who believed that the wolves actually ate people?
Explain how the fox was different from the wolf.
How did the old Eskimo hunters define wealth?
Why did Miyax name the black pup, Kapu?
Explain how Miyax was accept into the pack.
Vocabulary: predicament, regal, discern, lured, gesture, hostile, instilled, frigid, conserve, instincts, evoke, monotony, fate, ulo, versatile, hibernating, frenzy, phenomenon, abundance, sheath, commended, gussak, sternly, halo, reprimanded, vitality, slinking, quivering, dispelled, crooned, dominance, undulating, elated, ambrosia
Enrichment: Research the author and discover other books she has written. Explain why she chose to write about wolves.
Section II Beginning: Miyax's eyelids fluttered...
- Why did Miyax place her parka and fur pants in a bag made from whale bladder?
- Why was it difficult for Miyax to know how long she had slept?
- Why was it so easy to get lost on the tundra?
- Explain how the wolf pups got food from the adults.
- Describe how Miyax intended to use Jello and Kapu to help her survive?
- Explain how Miyax would normally use caribou droppings.
- Why was it important that Miyax not eat too fast or too much?
- Why did Miyax become anxious when she noticed the cotton grasses were seeding out into white puffs?
- Which caribou do the wolves select to hunt from the herd?
- Why did Kapu suddenly become hostile towards Miyax?
- Why did Miyax decide it would be wise to start snaring animals?
- Provide two reasons why Miyax did not attempt to capture the Snowy Owl.
- Why did Miyax use red markers as she made her way to the owl's nest?
- Describe the "white flag" of surrender.
- Why did fog present a potential danger to Miyax?
- Why did Miyax draw a line in the soil immediately after the commercial plane had flown overhead?
- What was causing the rhythmical beat which sounded like Eskimo drums?
- Briefly describe the hunt witnessed by Miyax.
- Describe how the wolves hunted the bull.
- What part of the caribou did Miyax identify as the "candy" of her people?
Vocabulary: soliciting, winced, edible, carrion, ravenously, regurgitated, weaned, deference, torso
Enrichment: How is the Inuit culture different from ours? What are some of the aspects of the Inuit culture that you can appreciate? Write a poem about wolves and illustrate it. Share your work with a classmate.
Section III Beginning: Hunts came and went...
- According to Miyax why did the caribou pass so closely to their enemies the wolves?
- How did the Eskimo people preserve their food?
- Why was November twenty-first a significant date for Miyax?
- Why did the Arctic fox remind Miyax of the coming winter?
- How does Miyax know that Jello is the low man on the totem pole?
- Describe the battered letter from Amy.
- What response does Miyax receive from Amaroq when she calls for him the next day?
Vocabulary: drastically, hamper, groveling, nomadic, swath, preened, quell, incorrigible, stifled, forage, improvised, droned, writhed, diligently, migrated, predator, sprint, morsel
Enrichment: Research why the far north experiences total darkness for long periods during the winter. List some of the advantages and disadvantages of living in the far north.
Part II Miyax the Girl
Section I Beginning: The wind, the empty sky, the deserted earth...
- Why was Miyax not able to remember her mother very well?
- Explain why Miyax believed that the sea was rimmed with fur.
- Describe the celebration of the Bladder Feast.
- Kapugen "hails" the blue sky and praises the grasses and the bushes. Are Eskimos the only people to do this?
- Describe how Kapugen caught fish.
- How were the Eskimos from Mekoryak different from Miyax and her father?
- How did Miyax react when her father called her Julie?
- List some of the activities that the Eskimos participated in when the winter blizzards arrived.
- Why was Miyax's new coat special?
- Why was Miyax forced to leave her father to live with her Aunt Martha?
- What did Kapugen suggest that Miyax could do when she was thirteen years old?
- What news did Miyax receive from her aunt that caused her world to turn empty and bleak?
Vocabulary: comical, grieving, divinely, taut, shaman, harvest, scouted, metallic, bleak
Enrichment: Invite an expert on wolves to give a talk in your classroom. Research some of the different wolves and where they live. Find out about how wolves have been reintroduced into their habitats. What were some of the problems with the local farmers? Explain how DNA testing is used when scientists are studying wolves or other animals when reintroducing them to their former habitats.
Section II Beginning: Gradually Julie pushed Kapugen out of her heart...
- What letter did Mr. Pollock give to Miyax?
- Why didn't all of the children on the island attend high school on the mainland?
- What message did the man from the Bureau of Indian Affairs deliver to Miyax?
- Why was Miyax disappointed when she first caught a glimpse of Daniel?
- What significant event occurred the day after Miyax's arrival in Barrow?
- How does Pearl try to reassure Miyax about her recent marriage to Daniel?
- Why do you think that the letters from Amy, her penpal, became the most important thing in her life?
Vocabulary: huddled, snickered, derisively, domestic, enchanted, prosperous, irritated, escorted, pinnacles, remote, fate, tinker, clustered
Enrichment:Research factual documentation as to how many people in North America have been attacked and/or killed by wolves.
Section III Beginning: During the winter Julie came to understand...
- What sad discovery does Miyax make about Naka during the winter?
- Why did Miyax confide in Russell about Naka's problem?
- According to Russell who in the community could help Naka with his problem?
- Explain why January 24th was a day of celebration?
- Why is Daniel upset?
- Why does Miyax feel it is best if she doesn't reveal her true plans to Pearl?
- Why does Miyax advise Pearl to tell Nusan that she last saw Miyax walking out onto the ice?
- What was Miyax's destination?
Vocabulary: numbness, quonset, tolerate, eclipse, mammals, vibrant, intricate, bleated, stride
Enrichment: Research various types of addiction. Why are they harmful? Research the various methods used to treat addiction. Do you agree with these methods? Have a short discussion with a small group of your classmates to discuss some new ways of treating addictions. Make a short presentation to your class.
Part III Kapugen the Hunter
Section I Beginning: The memory vanished, the wind screamed...
- Explain why Miyax cried, "My food! My life! I'm dead!"
- Who has caused this turmoil?
- Why does Miyax decide to leave her camp?
- What animal is referred to as the king of the weasel family?
- What indications are there that it is breeding season for the caribou?
- Whose familiar howl is noticeably missing from the hunt song of her pack?
- What action does Miyax's visitor take that causes her great consternation?
- How did Amaroq inadvertently save Miyax's life?
Vocabulary: eerie, strewn, groveled, humbly, intact, knoll, sauntered, deft, solemnly, lair, deviating, persisted, bravado, ancestors, larder, harpoon, contorted, cowed
Enrichment: Design a web page promoting this novel. Make sure to include a brief summary of the book without giving away the ending. Have your teacher read the material before posting it on the internet.
Section II Beginning: One evening as she looked for a campsite...
- Who did Miyax see trotting down the rabbbit trail?
- What did the wolf prints growing closer together signify?
- What evidence was there that Miyax was getting nearer the coast?
- Why was the grizzly not hibernating?
- Why did the older Eskimo men consider bounty hunting to be evil?
- Explain how Miyax released Amaroq from the bone.
- Give two possible reasons why the Plover was so tame.
- Describe what happens with the arrival of the plane.
- How does Miyax save Kapu?
- What happened every year on November 10th?
Vocabulary: abruptly, cauldron, concave, snare, inspired, immense, refrain, improvised, blared, hardy, plaintive, maneuver, authoritative, scent, perspiration, bounty, arched, plumage, juvenile, regal, flailing, constricted, deteriorating, artifacts, preserved
Enrichment: What are the pros and cons of hunting. Do a survey of your classmates to see who agrees or disagrees with hunting. Be sure to have a list of questions. For example, Are there any times that you think hunting is acceptable?
Section III Beginning: The sun went down on November 10th...
- Why did Miyax decide it would be better to move nearer the river?
- What conclusion did Miyax reach when she saw fewer and fewer animal tracks?
- Who were the first visitors to Miyax's igloo?
- What incredible piece of news does Atik indirectly reveal to Miyax?
- Why do tears well up in Miyax's eyes when she hears Atik crack the whip?
- Explain the statement, "My own Amaroq lives. I must go to him!"
Vocabulary: roost, chips, elaborate, distressed, sustain, grandeur, rodents, abundant, constellation, waned, plumes, dialect, treacherous, enamored, hoisted
Enrichment: Research the modern Inuit. Discuss with your teacher some of the places you might glean this information. Do any of the Inuit still adhere to the ancient traditions?
Find out the proper techniques for building an igloo. Make some basic sketches write up the step by step instructions for constructing an igloo. What are some of the advantages of an igloo?
Section IV Beginning: She could see the village of Kangik...
- How does Kapugen explain his disappearance?
- Why is Miyax disappointed when she first sees her father's new wife?
- Why does Miyax say that her father was dead to her when in fact he was very much alive?
- Explain in your own words the significance of the last song sung by Miyax.
Vocabulary: chores, enclosures, annex, amber, threshold, flourish
Enrichment: Locate some Inuit music and songs. Perform them in front of your classmates or record them on video for later viewing.