SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater
A Police officer, William Koenig, comes to Grace’s school to talk to the class about entering law enforcement. He’s is interrupted by questions about Jack’s death and the fact that his body is rumored to have gone missing from the morgue. The officer tries to tell them that he believes the wolves are not a threat, when one of Grace’s classmates points to her and says “But she got attacked, too”. Grace says that it happened a long time ago, and that it could have been dogs. Officer Koenig uses that to get back to his speech about law enforcement.
After class, Olivia and grace go back to Grace’s house and look at Olivia’s photos. Olivia gets irritated at Grace when she can only focus on the picture of her wolf. Olivia’s brother comes to pick her up, and Grace walks outside after they leave. She hears a scream and a cry for help and runs out to the woods. She finds two wolves pinning down a third: the black pack leader, the mean she-wolf and a scraggly grey she’s never seen before. When she looks in his eyes, she’s shocked; she’s sure it’s Jack. While she stands there, frozen the wolves run off. That night she lays in bed listening to their howls, unsure of what she’s seen.
The next day, Grace tries to talk to Olivia about what she saw in the woods. Olivia tells her she’s crazy and it’s just because of her obsession with the wolf. They fight and Olivia storms off, and grace goes into an empty classroom. Isabel walks in, and confronts her about defending the wolves with the cop the day before. She reminds Grace that the wolves aren’t harmless, that they killed her brother. Isabel tells her “What happened to Jack is never happening again. They’re killing the wolves. Today. Now”. After Isabel leaves, grace runs for her car and gets to the woods as fast as her car will let her. Near her house, she sees a bunch of cars and pickups pulled off to the side of the road, men lined up behind them with guns, including Officer Koenig. She hears shots in the distance, and runs to Officer Koenig and tells him they have to stop shooting, her friend is in the woods taking pictures. He tries to call them, but his cell has no reception. She hears more shots and cheers, so she takes off into the woods.
“…I wondered how many someones it would take before they decided to go after the wolves. To go after my wolf. I knew this was the real reason why I couldn’t forgive Jack for dying.”(31)
“This should have been unfamiliar territory, but I felt confident, assured. Silently guided, as though by a weird sixth sense, I followed the same worn paths that the wolves used over and over again.” (40)
“Without the wolves eyes before me, I had to wonder if I’d imagined the likeness to Jack’s…What was I thinking, anyway? That he’d turned into a wolf?” (42)
“There was a knot in my stomach. Nerves. Anticipation. I didn’t think Jack’s secret was the only secret these woods held.” (42)
“As he started to put his shotgun in the pickup truck, there was another gunshot from the woods and something buckled inside me. I just couldn’t wait anymore” (53)
Questions for consideration:
Why does the teacher lie about Jack being a loved member of the community? Is it because he’s dead or because she wants information?
Grace describes herself as “The embodiment of winter-dark blonde hair and serious brown eyes, a summer girl faded by cold” (34). Do you think this is important? Why?
Why do you think Grace feels it when one of the wolves is shot?