“We walked toward the part of the library where the air smelled as if it had been interred for years….. Finally, we got to the hallway where the wooden floor was the creakiest, and we sensed a strange whiff of excitement and fear. It smelled like a creature from a bygone time. It smelled like a dragon.”
Thirteen-year-old Juan’s summer is off to a terrible start. First, his parents separate. Then, almost as bad, Juan is sent away to his strange Uncle Tito’s house for the entire break! Who wants to live with an oddball recluse who has zigzag eyebrows, drinks fifteen cups of smoky tea a day, and lives inside a huge, mysterious library?
As Juan adjusts to his new life among teetering, dusty shelves, he notices something odd: the books move on their own! He rushes to tell Uncle Tito, who lets his nephew in on a secret: Juan is a Princeps Reader, which means books respond magically to him, and he’s the only one who can find the elusive, never-before-read Wild Book. But will Juan and his new friend Catalina get to The Wild Book before the wicked, story-stealing Pirate Book does?
An unforgettable adventure story about books, libraries, and the power of reading, The Wild Book is the young readers’ debut by beloved, prize-winning Mexican author Juan Villoro. It has sold over one million copies in Spanish.
Praise for The Wild Book, by Juan Villoro
“Books are portals to other worlds. In The Wild Book, a young boy learns about the power of stories when he explores his uncle’s enchanted library of shape-shifting books. This is a beautifully written ode to the inherent magic of books and reading. … Translated by award-winning Lawrence Schimel, Juan Villoro’s prose is lovely and clear. Villoro, “Mexico’s Updike,” is his nation’s most prolific, prize-winning writer. The Wild Book is no exception within his canon. Each of the twenty-one chapters is accompanied by Eko’s stunning woodcut-style illustrations, depicting books with teeth and pages flying. Deserving a place beside classics like The Phantom Tollbooth and Half-Magic, The Wild Book is a timeless celebration of reading.”
—Claire Foster, Foreword Reviews, Five-Heart Review
"Brings to mind the same ecstatic thrill I felt reading The Phantom Tollbooth as a child, Fahrenheit 451 as a teen, and Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore as an adult. I'm absolutely envious of the young readers who are about to discover the magic of Juan Villoro's The Wild Book."
—David Gonzalez, Skylight Books (Los Angeles, CA)
“Villoro’s lighthearted and timeless voice makes it easy to suspend any disbelief and revel in the bookish magic.”
—Caitlin Kling, Booklist
“Like comfort food for book lovers.”
–– Kirkus Reviews
“Written by Mexican author Juan Villoro and translated into English by Lawrence Schimel, the middle-grade novel follows the adventures of a young boy who goes to live with his eccentric book-obsessed uncle in a library where books have supernatural powers. (The whimsical illustrations were done by Mexican artist Eko.) More than one million copies have been sold in the Spanish edition. And this October, the English edition of “The Wild Book” will be the first title published by Yonder: Restless Books for Young Readers, the new children’s book imprint of the independent, nonprofit publishing company Restless Books. A book about the power of books seems a fitting debut.”
—Veronica Suchodolski, Daily Hampshire Gazette
About the Author:
Juan Villoro is Mexico’s most prolific, prize-winning author, playwright, journalist, and screenwriter. His books have been translated into multiple languages. Several of his books have appeared in English, including his celebrated 2016 essay collection on soccer brought out by Restless Books, God Is Round. Villoro lives in Mexico City and is a visiting lecturer at Yale and Princeton universities.
Lawrence Schimel (New York, 1971) is a full-time author, writing in both Spanish and English, who has published over one hundred books in a wide range of genres. He is also a prolific literary translator. His picture books have been selected for the White Ravens from the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany and have twice been chosen for IBBY’s Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities, among many other awards, honors, and Distinctions. His work has been published in Basque, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Turkish, and Ukrainian translations. He started the Spain chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and illustrators and served as its Regional Advisor for five years. He also coordinated the International SCBWI Conference in Madrid and the first two SCBWI-Bologna Book Fair conferences. He lives in Madrid, Spain and New York City.
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Perfect for book lovers
If your young one loves reading, or if you want them to start to love reading, this is the book for them!