Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyronby Mary Losure, Timothy Basil Ering (Illustrator)
One 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,/b>/i>
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.
One 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.
—School Library Journal
Meet the Author
Mary Losure, author of The Fairy Ring, has worked as a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio and a contributor to National Public Radio. She lives with her husband in Minnesota.
Timothy Basil Ering is the illustrator of many award-winning books, including Kate DiCamillo’s Newbery Medal–winning The Tale of Despereaux. He lives in Massachusetts.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Wild Boy tells "the real life of the savage of Aveyron," a feral child found living in the woods in France around 1800. Upon his discovery, he was examined, studied, and attempts were made to civilize him. He was given the name Victor and thankfully, he also found someone who cared for him as if he were family. I love the narrative non-fiction style of this book, the way it reads like fiction. Details about Victor's life are always appropriate for the intended age group (10 and up), and it's easy to connect with how he must have felt along the way. Readers see examples of scientific thought and methods in the early 19th century, and come to understand why Dr. Itard's methods were kinder and more humane than others. The illustrations are charcoal drawings, not overly detailed. They don't try to show too much; they give just enough detail to inspire the imagination to fill in the rest. A true "living" history book, Wild Boy includes a map on inside cover showing his journey, a quote from a primary source at the start of each chapter, thorough source notes and a bibliography for further reading, and a fascinating bit of extra information in the one-page author's note.
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 "lessons".
A true story about a wild boy found in southern France, 1798. There was a sighting of a wild naked boy in the mountain forest, he appeared to be digging in the leaves. He was not easy to track, that is until 1798 he was finally tracked down and captured in the mountains and was forcibly brought into town where many gawked at him as if he was a wild beast. From that day on he was know as the Savage of Aveyron. He managed to escaped a few times but was always brought back to Paris where he was being studied as a human specimen. He faced many changes in his life some good and some bad. He was never forgotten. The author writes of the trials and tribulations in the life of this young boy as facts had been written and documented of the research and later schooling of his life in captivity. The story shows how sad his life must have been in comparison to other children of his time. It is very well put together on a level for children to read of this historical representation of the Savage of Aveyron, yet adults will enjoy it as well. I highly recommend this book. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Candlewick Press for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. This review is my honest opinion.
The story of Victor has always been my favorite of all feral children. Sad, heartbreaking yet fascinating this book is highly recommended for any student of this bizarre and cruel phenomenon!!!