Q & A with Mary Losure: Wild Boy

WildBoyCover.jpgI’d like to welcome Mary Losure today. She’s written a fascinating tale about the true story of a wild boy.

What is the title of your book? The pub date and publisher? Genre? Targeted age group?

*Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron

March 26, Candlewick Press. Narrative Non-fiction, age ten and up

Where is it set?

* France

In 70 words or less, provide a succinct plot description of your story.

*The true story of a boy found roaming wild in the forests of southern France in 1797. Captured and taken to Paris, the boy must find a new home in the human world.

Links to starred reviews or blurbs you wish to share:

Check out the trailer!

How are you connected to the setting of your story?

*I speak French (badly) but my main connection to France is that it happened to be the setting of the story I chose for my book.

MaryLosure.jpgWhat inspired you to write this story?

*I read the book that the wild boy’s teacher, Dr. Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard, wrote about his five-year-long attempt to “civilize” the wild boy and teach him to talk. I wanted to tell the story as narrative non-fiction with the boy himself, not his teacher, as the hero.

What was the biggest challenge you had writing your story? How did you overcome it?

*I think the biggest challenge was to stop thinking like a grownup and an ordinary person and try to put myself in the wild boy’s place. For years, he had lived all alone in the wilderness. He had a mind that did not think in words. What was his amazing life like for HIM?

What kind of story can we expect next from you? Is it set outside of the United States? If so, where? And what is it about?

*My next book is called ISAAC THE ALCHEMIST. Like WILD BOY, it’s narrative non-fiction with a child hero. It tells the story of the strange, magic-seeming childhood of the boy who grew up to be the world’s greatest alchemist –and along the way discovered the secrets of the universe. It’s set in England in the 1600’s.

What else would you like us to know about you or your story?

* I think children like reading about other children, but often this isn’t possible in non-fiction. I’m hoping my books will attract some child readers who might not ordinarily be drawn to non-fiction.

Can you remember the first book that made an impact on you? And why?

*It was MY FATHER’S DRAGON by Ruth Stiles Gannett, which is pure, unabashed fantasy! It was the first real story I read to myself, by myself. It took me to a completely different, imagined world that was very vivid to me.

As I child I never read non-fiction. I think that’s one reason I’m writing children’s non-fiction now –the idea that somewhere there might be children (girls, especially) drawn to my books who might otherwise read only fiction.

My first book is called THE FAIRY RING, OR ELSIE AND FRANCES FOOL THE WORLD. It’s NON-fiction, about two girls whose pictures of cut-out fairies fooled Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. I’ve been very happy with the response from children (especially girls) so far.

Where can readers go to learn more information?

*Check out the endnotes to both THE FAIRY RING and WILD BOY! Many people assume children never look at endnotes, but children are curious –I hope they will. Perhaps some budding historians may learn what is meant by “primary sources” and how interesting they can be.

For more information about Mary Losure or Wild Boy, please click here. Thank you for joining us today, Mary!



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