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Wild Boy

(Wild Boy #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  640 ratings  ·  153 reviews
London, 1841

A boy covered in hair, raised as a monster, condemned to life in a travelling freak show.

A boy with extraordinary powers of observation and detection.

A boy accused of murder; on the run; hungry for the truth.


LAdies and Gentlemen, take your seats. The show is about to begin.
Hardcover, 301 pages
Published April 4th 2013 by Walker Books (first published March 1st 2013)
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  640 ratings  ·  153 reviews

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Richard Cardenas
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


American Horror Story: FREAKSHOW meets Sherlock Holmes!!

Murder, mayhem, mystery, action, friendship, and batshit craziness! I will now need a copy of this for my shelf because it was awesome. I loved the 1800s carnival/fair atmosphere and this was definitely a dark Middle-Grade read. The writing was incredible and the author did an amazing job at reeling you into the story and making you feel as if you were right there in 1800s London, walking on cobblestone streets, and inhaling the swe
♥ Jx PinkLady Reviews ♥
My daughter needed to read a mystery novel as part of a school project so, on the recommendation of my son, we chose, 'Wild Boy.'

A few more thoughts to come
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-shelf
Actual rating: 4,5*

This was fantastic. Review to come xx
Kat (Lost in Neverland)

Abandoned at birth and given to a freakshow at 8, Wild Boy has learned to never trust anyone and to consider himself a monster.
It's 1841, London, England. A boy covered from head to toe in hair is forced to perform in front of vicious crowds. In order to keep himself going, Wild Boy watches people. He sees things about them that no one else does, and in time develops a useful skill of deduction. He can learn facts from a person with a single glance, with subtle hints and clues on their clothes o
Audrey Laurey
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 6th-8th
I would like to recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story. Especially anyone who has considered joining a circus, enjoys a heartfelt mystery, or has felt like an outsider. I cannot get enough esoteric historical fiction.

This book is fast paced and deals with a lot of deep issues; Such as loss, insecurities, fear, not feeling like one belongs, etc. Which is interesting since this book is classified as junior fiction.

There is violence, suspense, and most importantly an emphasis on the
Fun read. I think it's a chapter book for younger readers, but it doesn't talk down and it's a great, steampunk-ish adventure with Wild Boy as a sort of junior Sherlock Holmes. In the first book -- this one -- Wild Boy makes friends with the acrobat girl Clarissa after they are accused of a gruesome murder. There's a weird machine using that newfangled stuff electricity and lots of secrets and lies. It's a good read for pretty much anyone.
Om Manghani
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: winter-2015
Nice book, and I can definitely see why this one was chosen as a Red Dot. There was a lot of great inner thinking for Wild Boy, and I love how fast the plot played out, and how unexpected it was towards the end.

This book again seems to highlight what it means to be different in today's world, to stand out and to suffer the consequences. It makes me wonder what it means for someone to be different, and why people feel to against being different.

Besides from being different, this book also seems
Aryaman Bharath
To be fair if there were half star ratings I would give it a 3.5 stars because first of all it created tension all around and it hooked me in till the last word. Second it had a shocking end which made the book more heart breaking and third, though it did hook me, it had a slow start and the author was describing the setting a lot which made things a bit more boring because I personally like to make a picture with my own imagination and the author this case it like here is how it should look.
One Sentence Review: Action packed with a Sherlock/Victorian twist and a mystery that will have kids wondering when the heck the sequel's coming out.
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I literally read this in a half a day.
The story kept me intrigued the whole time I was reading.
The writing flowed and the story was never made to feel like it was struggling to continue.
I definitely would read the second one
Lyndsey O'Halloran
May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Wild Boy is set in Victorian London, with the young boy covered in hair living in a place where he is constantly belittled and bullied because of how he looks. Instead of rising to the other boys around him, Wild Boy spends his time watching people, learning more about them. One day though, a strange man comes to take him away to a travelling freak show and circus and he has no option but to go with him. He believes it cannot be any worse than what he already has to deal with.

Wild Boy was such
Wild Boy is a deliciously chilling look at the seedy underbelly of Victorian England. Abandoned at birth by his parents because of his appearance, Wild Boy, grows up taunted and teased by the other boys in the workhouse where he spent his formative years. At the age of eight he is rescued from the workhouse by a carnival barker and forced to perform in a sideshow. Luckily, for Wild Boy he has found a friend, another performer, named Sir Oswald. When Wild Boy is framed for murder he must use his ...more
Anthony Burt
This started off really well - great concept, interesting setting (Victorian England amongst the "freaks" of the circus community) - but I realised by about page 70 I wasn't really engaging with the main character's thoughts/emotions or motive. In fact, I started wondering where the actual impetus for the story was.

Ok, yes, he's a jilted "freak" in the circus, no one loves him, he wants to escape etc, but it just started feeling like yada-yada-yada, heard it all before.

Sorry Rob - perhaps I just
Sue Murdoch
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book begins with fantastic, evocative description and continues to delight throughout. I felt absorbed into the grimy streets of London and its filthy dank underworld; the harshness of the story's characters living from day to day by the rule of the circus gave a contrasting insight into the world of the Victorian ruling classes, raising the question - just how does a country hold on to power and empire? I loved the Sherlock Holmes feel of a quest and felt that the inner emotional battle Wi ...more
Pam Saunders
May 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
At first I was unsure about this book, it had good reviews but the first few pages I wasn't sure, '...a thick fog crept over the city...' but the author quickly found his voice and the story was racing. Wild Boy is a freak but he is likable and convincing character as too is Clarissa, a circus, acrobat girl of some talent and Sir Oswald with his war injuries. What a team.

The tale has strong links to Sherlock Holmes, with adventure, murder and solving of crimes in London.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it liked it
A great addition to the shelf physically, wonderful hardcover with colour printed pages for Part headings and Reward posters etc.

Otherwise, the story was pretty average. Wasn't excited throughout much of it.
Ben Alderson
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Check out my video review!
I loved this book very much!
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
I read a review in School Library Journal that summed this one up very nicely. Sherlock Holmes meets Oliver Twist in a carnival of oddities in 1841 London.
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
fast moving story. I liked the mystery but figured it out early on. It was still a great read though.
Annabelle Heath
I went through a bit of a phase with historical fiction and really enjoyed reading Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper, also set in Victorian times. It's such an interesting (and horrible) period of history, and I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting it it Wildboy - albeit from an utterly different angle.

In fact, I would say it's the best thing about Wild Boy - the unflinching portrayal of some of the dirtier and nastier elements of Victorian life. Wild Boy's freak show home is such a horrible place that it's
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Wild Boy. It had everything I could possibly love in a story: A circus setting set in the Victorian era "for fans of Sherlock Holmes." I couldn't NOT buy it.

I love this fun cast of characters, a smart observant 11-year-old with some serious anger management issues, a tough-as-nails acrobat/pickpocket with a soft side, a war veteran who can keep himself looking posh and elegant despite his disabilities. The story left me wanting for nothing, except perhaps for one pet peeve: I WISH there had
Amy (Golden Books Girl)
I`ve been meaning to read this Victorian murder mystery for ages, and I`m really glad I finally got to it. It is the story of the titular Wild Boy, who is a performer in a “freak show”, as he is accused of murder alongside acrobat Clarissa Everett, and they must team up to solve their names. I found this really difficult to read in places because the way Wild Boy is treated is so utterly horrendous and unjust, and I felt so much sympathy for him as a character, so I was fully on his side from th ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought the book was about a wild - dangerous boy. However, as I read the plot, I discovered it contained themes about prejudice based on physical looks such as this quote from chapter 2, (“Ugly Bugger, one of them said, Looks likes a baby werewolf”.) In the story plot, Wild Boy witnesses a murder and is falsely accused of the murder because many people view his hairy appearance as being scary. Therefore they prejudge him. This novel includes 2 main characters, Wild Boy and Clarissa, an acroba ...more
Jiyul Lee
A boy, who is called by the name 'Wild Boy', is covered fully in hair and becomes a freak. Not just any freak, though. A sideshow freak. Isolated and maltreated by the showman who brought him there, Wild Boy observes everything. He can catch anything suspicious, with examining each and every person who walks by. When a murder happens at the fair(where Wild Boy stays), Wild Boy is blamed promptly. Working together with Clarissa, they try to find the real murderer. Together they find clues to catc ...more
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

A really interesting premise and main character are sullied by simplistic writing, dull plot, and villains worthy of a Saturday morning cartoon. There's lots of elements here that would work, but Rob Lloyd Jones simply doesn't have the skill to make all of these disparate ideas feel sincere or organic. It's a first novel, and it feels like one too, with all of its clumsy writing, awkward tonal shifts, and weird pacing. But there is potential here, enough to make me interested in reading the
May 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
I picked this one up last month as part of a middle grade May event I was taking part in. I actually received this originally as part of a mystery book parcel and I was excited to get to it as I loved the cover and the premise but unfortunately it wasn't for me and I seem to be in the minority here.

This book definitely pays homage to some literary greats and throughout the book you can see some obvious references and inspiration drawn from Sherlock Holmes and Frankenstein. There were some parts
Ben French
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book I picked up on a whim that turned out to be quite a nice little mystery book. Follows a fairly typical format, but stars two interesting main characters, Wild Boy, a freak in the circus and an acrobat who strike up an uneasy alliance when both are framed for a murder. Everything quickly escalates into a government conspiracy and mad science all over a very grim 1840's London backdrop. It's not the height of literature, but it's a really fun time.
Cecilia Rodriguez
The story begins in 1838, then moves forward to 1841 London.
Wild Boy is an orphan who is covered entirely with thick hair.
After the work house sells him to a freak show, he is accused
of murder.
Only Clarissa Everett, a circus acrobat offers to help Wild Boy
solve the crime.
The story has the element of Steampunk, with hints of Mary Shelly
Arthur Conan Doyle and H.G. Wells
A fast paced mystery adventure.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this book before using it with my year 6 class for reading comprehension. The character descriptions are very detailed and uses fantastic imagery. The book is a roller coaster of action that I couldn’t put down when I started reading it. I’d definitely recommend as I think children will enjoy the creepy, darker elements alongside the historical and circus features.
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is dope
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Rob Lloyd Jones was born in San Francisco but grew up in London. He studied Egyptology at University where he learnt hieroglyphics, and often goes on digs with the Egypt Exploration Society. He is a senior editor at Usborne, for whom he has written over thirty books – mostly historical non-fiction, but also adaptations of classics such as JEKYLL AND HYDE and THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. Rob is also ...more

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