Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: Wild Boy by Rob Lloyd Jones

Wild Boy
By: Rob Lloyd Jones
Pub. Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 304
Source: Netgalley

I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.

In the seedy underworld of Victorian London, a boy is born and abandoned. Snatched up by an unscrupulous and abusive showman, Wild Boy, covered in hair from head to toe, becomes a sideshow freak. Isolated from other children and wickedly abused by the cruel master who bought him, Wild Boy becomes an avid observer, developing Sherlock Holmes–like deductive skills. Although he is tormented and insulted, kicked and spat at, his quick mind takes in everything he sees. When a murder occurs at the fair, Wild Boy is hastily accused. Can he use his powers of deduction to save himself? And will the talented and spunky young acrobat Clarissa be with him — or against him? Readers will be swept along by the cinematic pace, immersed in the vivid historical setting, and gripped by suspense as they wait to find out if a better fate could possibly await someone so very different.
As soon as I read the synopsis on netgalley, I knew that I had to read this book. I have always been intrigued with the circuses and freak shows of the 1800's. Wild Boy is a quick, middle grade mystery that I think children and adults alike can enjoy.

The hairy boy with no name has spent his whole life alone and abused. He doesn't think his life can get any worse so when he's asked to join the freak show he agrees. Now with name, Wild Boy, he performs in the show. He acts like a beast and gets beat up, but at least it's on his terms. Spending his life alone, he is very observant of people. He can figure out whole histories just by looking at them. When a murder takes place, and he is the number one subject, it is up to him to figure out who the real killer is before they can kill again.

Since Wild Boy is a MG, the mystery isn't too hard to figure out, but I think children will have a fun time trying to find the answers. Wild Boy definitely had a hard life, but he never acts like a victim. The hidden messages are easy to see and I think they are perfect for young children who are just becoming teenagers.

I really enjoyed Wild Boy. It is a fun and quick read and I definitely recommend it! 

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