Non-Fiction Review: Wild Boy (The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron)


Wild Boy (The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron) by Mary Losure and Timothy Basil Ering (Illustrator)

Age Range: 10 and up

Hardcover: 176 pages 

Publisher: Candlewick (March 26, 2013)

Series: None

Genre: Non-fiction

Source: Won in a giveaway

Rating: 5 of 5 stars

About the Book:

What happens when society finds a wild boy alone in the woods and tries to civilize him? A true story from the author of The Fairy Ring.

day in 1798, woodsmen in southern France returned from the forest
having captured a naked boy. He had been running wild, digging for food,
and was covered with scars. In the village square, people gathered
around, gaping and jabbering in words the boy didn’t understand. And so
began the curious public life of the boy known as the Savage of Aveyron,
whose journey took him all the way to Paris. Though the wild boy’s
world was forever changed, some things stayed the same: sometimes, when
the mountain winds blew, “he looked up at the sky, made sounds deep in
his throat, and gave great bursts of laughter.” In a moving work of
narrative nonfiction that reads like a novel, Mary Losure invests
another compelling story from history with vivid and arresting new life.

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In understated, atmospheric prose, Losure carefully relates the recorded
observations of the “men of science” who examined and/or educated the
wild boy, finding the evocative details that hinted at his inner life
while painting a vivid picture of the misty forests and hilltops the boy
would have called home. Smudgy, gestural charcoal drawings accompany
the text in this beautifully produced book, depicting the boy’s
struggles as his (usually) well-meaning captors attempted to domesticate
him. … Abundant source notes and a strong bibliography make this
lyrical, readable book a wonderful nonfiction choice.
—School Library Journal

About the Author:

Mary Losure is a former Minnesota Public Radio reporter and freelance
contributor to National Public Radio. She’s now writing narrative
non-fiction for children.

Her first children’s book, THE FAIRY
RING,OR ELSIE AND FRANCES FOOL THE WORLD (Candlewick Press, 2012), was
chosen Booklist Editor’s Choice, Best Youth Nonfiction, 2012.
(Candlewick,March 2013) is the true story of a wild boy discovered in
the forests of France. Watch the trailer on her Amazon page videos, or
check out the you tube link

She is now at work on a third book of narrative non-fiction for children, ISAAC THE ALCHEMIST.

My Thoughts:

I was so excited when I got this book in the mail. This is a work of
non-fiction intended for children. It is the story of a real life wild
boy. I had no idea that wild children were a real thing. I figured that
they only existed in fiction such as The Jungle Book. As it turns out, there have been
several recorded throughout history. This is the story of one of those
children. It is SO interesting! I loved learning about the boy and his
crazy life.

One of the things that I loved the most was learning about was the
thought process of the day. The boy was subjected to various assumptions, experiments, and
judgements in the name of “science” or

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  • Reply
    Alyson Beecher
    July 25, 2013 at 4:46 am

    I so have to add this to my list of books to read. Thank you so much for linking up to #nfpb2013. I learn so much from what others are reading.

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