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Comment: Clean, tight ex-library hardcover, typical markings, laminated dust jacket. Very little wear. Bright, smooth pages with no noticeable wear. Smoke-free home. Secure packaging, FAST shipping!
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Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron Hardcover – March 26, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

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

From Booklist

Losure follows up The Fairy Ring (the Booklist 2012 Top of the List—Youth Nonfiction winner) with another novelistic true story with obvious appeal to young readers. In the mountains of southern France, a filthy, naked young boy lived like an animal in the woods. Twice he was captured, but it wasn’t until 1800 that the roughly 12-year-old child was caught and sent to an orphanage, where a “grim, narrow-nosed professor” tried to determine if he belonged to an entirely different species called Homo ferus. Thankfully, this unsympathetic relationship soon gave way to a Paris tutelage under the much kinder Jean-Marc Gaspard Itard at an institute for deaf-mutes. Part Tarzan, part Elephant Man, and part Helen Keller, this is a tale of finding humanity inside of savagery, for though the wild boy never learned to speak and was forever drawn to the woods, there is no doubt he felt emotion deeply. Losure smoothly navigates a story that, due to few records, is incomplete, clearly denoting speculation without ever losing narrative flow. Ering’s illustrations were unavailable for review. Grades 4-7. --Daniel Kraus

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1000L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (March 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763656690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763656690
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #861,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ionia Froment TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book was pretty incredible. I have always had a fascination with this historical boy in general, and reading Mary Losure's book just reinforced why. The author has done her research and put together an interesting history-based read. I thought she did an exemplary job of filling in the gaps of what this boy must have seen and felt during his exposure to the civilized world he had grown up outcast from.

My favorite part of reading this was when the author described how the boy was treated. It reminded me that we tend to destroy a lot of things in the name of science. I like it when a book can make you stop and consider life. Through the telling of her story, the author made me feel compassion for the wild boy she spoke of.

At times, I thought this book was sad, but it was also a story of adventure,perseverance and the unlimited power of the human spirit. I was lost in this book as the boy grew and changed before my eyes into a man and still faced the persecution of others.

This book made me question how civilized our world really is and if all that much has really changed since the historical period of the wild boy's world.

It has been suggested that the actions of this boy may have been partly attributed to abuse, also possibly autism. Either way, he had a spirit that could not be crushed by his circumstance nor human desire to treat anyone different like a test subject. I found the author really did a wonderful job highlighting this.

If you have an interest in early scientific observation, history in general or are simply looking for a compelling read that might teach you something you didn't know, this is a perfect choice.

This review is based on a digital arc from the publisher.
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Format: Kindle Edition
In 1797, villagers from the south of France found a Wild Boy in the woods. He was captured in 1798 and brought to the village square where he was tied up for all to see. He escaped and was later recaptured again.

The Wild Boy couldn't talk, he was naked and had a long scar across his neck as if someone had tried to kill him and did not succeed. He was around ten when was taken away from the woods and the nature he loved and put in a home where he could be studied by scientists. Eventually he was sent to Paris where scientists would try to civilize him with an education and teach him to speak.

The story of Wild Boy is fascinating. I've never heard of children surviving in the wild like this before. Losure is a great researcher and she does a great job explaining the journey of this boy who is later called Victor. This is Losure second book of narrative non-fiction and it reads much like a novel. It is a fast read packed full of historical information.

Wild Boy is a beautifully crafted book. The end pages are maps of France that outline the journey of the Wild Boy. Each chapter begins with a quote from various sources that published information about the boy who was called the Savage of Aveyron. Illustrator, Ering has created beautiful illustrations in black and white charcoal to enhance the story.

"To speak of the Wild Boy of Aveyon is to revive a name which no longer arouses any kind of interest; it is to recall a creature forgotten by those who merely saw him and disdained by those who have thought to pass judgement on him." Pg. 126 Quote by Dr. Itard. Dr. Itard is the man who thought he could teach the Wild Boy to speak and who later wrote a book about him.

Losure has crafted a version of the story that will pull at your emotions as you begin to fall in love with the Wild Boy of Aveyron.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book kind of broke my heart. The story revolves around a boy who grew up in a forest by himself, naked and alone. Somehow he had learned to survive, but it wasn't an easy process judging by the scars on his body. That in and of itself is heartbreaking, but what really got to me was the way most of the people he met treated him. The first time he was captured he was put on display like some sort of animal. The second time he stayed with a widow who it seemed treated him fairly well, but he escaped again and ended up at a school in Rodaz where he was basically a science experiment. He was lucky in that his caretaker treated him well, but no one else did. Finally he ended up at a school for deaf/mute children in Paris. There he met Madame Guerin who loved him and helped take care of him. But even his instructor, Dr. Itard didn't bother trying to understand where he was coming from and focused solely on humanizing him. He seems to never have learned to speak, whether this is because he couldn't or simply that no one found a way that worked for him is sad. Even more so is the fact that no one bothered to try sign language, despite his clear inclinations in that direction. He escaped one more time but there was no going back to way things were and he ended up spending the rest of his life with Madame Guerin in relative freedom. An interesting and emotional story told simply and tenderly.

From a slightly more objective point of view, the author does a great job of telling Victor's story. She makes it clear where there are holes and so much that we simply can't know because nobody bothered to record anything. She quotes from those who did record their experiences and impressions of the boy which helps bring the story to life. The writing is simple and straight-forward, which makes the story flow nicely. A beautifully told story about a young man who lived a life so very different than most of us can even imagine. Highly recommended.
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