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.
Praise for Wild Boy
“Absorbing non-fiction…a beautiful, evocative story about a real-life ‘Wild Boy’ who lived in a forest in 18th century France.”
The Wall Street Journal
“A fascinating story… a quick read that becomes more intriguing as it unfolds.”
“An interesting, well-informed retelling.”
“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.”
Daniel Kraus, Booklist
- A Junior Library Guild Selection
- Five Stars from Ritchie’s Picks