The Wild Book

Featured
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
2208 0
The Wild Book
Genre(s)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
March 20, 2012
ISBN
978-0547581316
Buy This Book
      

Fefa struggles with words. She has word blindness, or dyslexia, and the doctor says she will never read or write. Every time she tries, the letters jumble and spill off the page, leaping and hopping away like bullfrogs. How will she ever understand them?

But her mother has an idea. She gives Fefa a blank book filled with clean white pages. "Think of it as a garden," she says. Soon Fefa starts to sprinkle words across the pages of her wild book. She lets her words sprout like seedlings, shaky at first, then growing stronger and surer with each new day. And when her family is threatened, it is what Fefa has learned from her wild book that saves them.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Getting Past Dyslexia, One Poem At A Time
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Margarita Engle continues her streak of novels in verse about life in Cuba after the wars for independence from Spain. THE WILD BOOK is a charming story that will appeal to middle grade readers who enjoy poetry and anyone who has struggled to read.

Fefa has word blindness (dyslexia), and is tormented by the fact that she cannot read well. Her many siblings tease mock her handwriting and tease her. In her words,
"I help herd cows, brush horses,
and feed chickens.
The only chore I never finish is
reading OUT LOUD
to my big sisters,
who laugh
and call me lazy.
I hate hate hate it when they assume that I do not really try."

Fefa is extremely persistent in her desire to become a stronger reader and writer, filling a blank book with her attempts at poetry. Engle frequently has the more challenging words spelled out phonetically, although this technique fades later in the book as Fefa becomes more confident. When she realizes that she is improving, Fefa says, "When I consider the happy possibility that maybe someday I will feel smart, I grow a little bit hungry for small, tasty bites of easy words." I've seen this happen in my classes, when developing readers find the right book for them and are eager to find more like it.

The novel begins slowly, meandering through Fefa's life on the farm, so initially I wasn't as bought in as I was with THE SURRENDER TREE. Once the central plot was established, I was engaged and surprised by how Fefa's slow and careful reading is the key to her family's safety. As always, Engle's details about Cuban life in the early 1900s are the best parts of the book. I learned that wives of rebel soldiers hid messages inside giant flowers during the wars and that men would have poetry duels to see who could recite the most affecting poem. While I wish there had been more details like this, I still enjoyed THE WILD BOOK and will keep it on my shelf for struggling readers as encouragement.
Good Points
A strong theme: that hard work and persistence pays off.
Details about Cuba's history.
Fefa is a charming narrator.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The City Beautiful
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Death lurks around every corner in this unforgettable Jewish historical...
The Shape of Thunder
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a...
Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lyrical and heartfelt collection by an award-winning writer that...
The Republic of Birds
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A young witch must save her sister from evil birds...
Fearless
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Better Nate than Ever meets Love Sugar Magic in this...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"It was a test, you fool,” she sneered, “to see...
Ducks on the Road: A Counting Adventure
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Caldecott Honor artist Anita Lobel comes a touching and...
Sloth and Smell the Roses
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A playful board book about the pillars of mindfulness from...
Curious About Insects
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for the littlest bug buffs, this board book offers...
The Box in the Woods (Truly Devious, #4)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
After solving the case of Truly Devious, Stevie Bell...
Simone Breaks All the Rules
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for fans of You Should See Me in...
Chess Not Checkers
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Chess not Checkers is a teen novel with adult adventures...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
After surviving the Crossing, Zahru has sworn off adventures. While...
Curse of the Specter Queen
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
MAY THE HAZEL BRING YOU WISDOM AND THE ASPEN...
Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
With passion and precision, Kekla Magoon relays an essential account...
Kneel
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
This fearless debut novel explores racism, injustice, and self-expression through...

Latest Member Reviews

The Box in the Woods (Truly Devious, #4)
 
5.0
"THE BOX IN THE WOODS is a fantastic continuation of Stevie's story with a whole new cold case to solve...."
 
4.7
"Miles "Pudge" Halter seeks for a "Great Perhaps", and attends Culver Creek, a boarding school. Yet, he finds himself with..."
 
5.0
"To say that this book was one of my most anticipated releases for 2021 is an understatement. After the impact..."
 
5.0
"Oh my goodness what a way to end this series! I honestly took a little longer to finish this book..."
 
5.0
"I absolutely loved this sequel. The first one was such a good set up for this book. Nita is free..."
Not Even Bones
 
4.3
"So, this book was not what I was expecting it to be. First, it takes place in the real world...."
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
 
5.0
"What worked: I loved this engaging, heart-felt story with one strong Chicanx protagonist. Think I'M NOT YOUR PERFECT MEXICAN DAUGHTER..."
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.3
"ALL OUR HIDDEN GIFTS was a riveting and darkly captivating YA fantasy/thriller/horror read. Maeve is a teen girl and not..."
The Lost Girls
 
5.0
KM kathy melnick
"BEST URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX/WIFE/HUSBAND BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE NOW CONTACT LORD..."
The Outsiders
 
5.0
KM kathy melnick
"BEST URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX/WIFE/HUSBAND BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE NOW CONTACT LORD..."
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)
 
5.0
KM kathy melnick
"BEST URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX/WIFE/HUSBAND BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE NOW CONTACT LORD..."
Twilight (Twilight #1)
 
5.0
KM kathy melnick
"BEST URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX/WIFE/HUSBAND BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE NOW CONTACT LORD..."
 
5.0
KM kathy melnick
"BEST URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX/WIFE/HUSBAND BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE NOW CONTACT LORD..."
For the Wolf (The Wilderwood, #1)
 
4.7
"FOR THE WOLF is a captivating fantasy read that sweeps the reader away to the Wilderwood. Redarys (Red) is the..."
Simone Breaks All the Rules
 
4.7
"Simone's Haitian immigrant parents are very strict; she and her sister Anne have to go to an all girls school..."
Chasing Lucky
 
4.3
"Josie Saint-Martin and her mother have lived an itinerant lifestyle ever since they left the small Rhode Island seaside town..."
Curse of the Specter Queen
 
4.7
"Curse of the Specter Queen by Jenny Elder Moke is Indiana Jones meets The Mummy (1999) and encompasses everything I..."
The Heartbreak Bakery
 
4.7
"Seventeen-year-old agender Syd loves baking, but when her brownies set off a string of breakups-including her own-she comes up with..."
Heartbreakers and Fakers
 
5.0
"HEARTBREAKERS AND FAKERS is a consuming YA contemporary romance that I absolutely devoured. Penny wakes up on the lawn after..."
Of Princes and Promises (Rosetta Academy, #2)
 
5.0
KM kathy melnick
"BEST URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX/WIFE/HUSBAND BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE NOW CONTACT LORD ZULU..."