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Wild Boy
ISBN: 9780763656690
Author: Losure, Mary/ Ering, Timothy Basil (ILT)
Publisher: Candlewick Pr
Published: March 2013
Retail: $16.99    OUR PRICE: $2.99
     You Save 83%
Binding Type: Hardcover
Annotation: Presents the story of the feral boy known as the Savage of Aveyron, discovered in the mountain wilderness of Southern France in the late 18th century, and describes the attempts led by Paris physician Jean Marc Gaspard Itard to civilize him.
Additional Information
Target Grade: 4-6
Grade level: 4-6
Physical Information: 0.50" H x 50.00" L x 6.50" W
Bargain Category: Upper Elementary, Non-Fiction, Middle School
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall)
The feral child who inspired Truffaut s L Enfant Sauvage gets a scrupulously nonfictional account. Admirably refraining from conjecture, Losure documents each known fact about the boy, from his favorite foods to his bout with smallpox to his fear of heights. The book s intimate tone makes his alienation heartbreaking, as do eloquent black-and-white sketches. An author s note and source notes are included. Bib., ind.
Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #4)
The early-nineteenth-century feral child who inspired Truffaut's L'Enfant Sauvage as well as Mordicai Gerstein's YA novel Victor and picture book The Wild Boy (both rev. 11/98) here gets a scrupulously nonfictional account of what is known about his life. The boy was captured in January 1800 in southern France when he was around eleven or twelve. Later brought to Paris and to the attention of doctors and the French government, Victor (so named by one of his few sympathetic guardians, Dr. Itard) eventually learned some "civilized" behaviors, but never learned to speak. Losure documents all the known facts about the boy, from his favorite foods to his bout with smallpox to his fear of heights to his attachment to Dr. Itard's housekeeper, Madame Guerin. Losure is deeply sympathetic toward her subject, but her admirable refusal to fictionalize means that the text frequently turns toward conjecture ("Maybe, sometimes, [Victor] dreamed about a burning stick"), making the book feel somewhat padded ("When he came to the river Seine, perhaps he stopped to look at brightly painted laundry boats"). But the gentle and intimate tone makes Victor's alienation heartbreaking, as do the simple but eloquent black-and-white sketches, one per each short chapter. An author's note, source notes, a bibliography, and an index are incuded. roger sutton
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2013 February #2)

Believing her subject "deserves to be remembered as more than a case study," Losure (The Fairy Ring: Or How Elsie and Frances Fool the World) brings life to the true story of a boy discovered living wild in southern France near the end of the French Revolution. The Wild Boy of Aveyron is captured and escapes several times, eventually ending up at the Institute for Deaf-Mutes in Paris; most of the book's 18 chapters recount his childhood friendship with and intense tutoring by a doctor there. The narrative, woven around quotations from the writings of those who studied the boy, relies on Losure's speculative style to fill in gaps, which she does without overreaching. While the pace is unhurried, a fascinating story (along with large margins and wide spacing) makes this a quick read that becomes more intriguing as it unfolds. An author's note considers the possibility that the boy, later named Victor, may have been autistic and points out how techniques employed to teach him were successfully used with children previously considered unreachable. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 10–up. Author's agent: George Nicholson, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Mar.) ¦

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Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2013 May)

Gr 4–6—Who was the boy found naked in the forest by French villagers in the late 1700s? How had he gotten the scars that lined his body? How old was he? While he appeared to be about 10 years old, he could not tell his own story, because he could not talk. 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. Losure is careful not to make any 21st-century conclusions about the boy's condition. While she offers speculation about his early life and how he ended up alone in the woods, she brings up contemporary diagnoses such as Asperger's syndrome only in an author's note. Abundant source notes and a strong bibliography make this lyrical, readable book a wonderful nonfiction choice.—Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD

[Page 135]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.