The Wild Book - Juan Villoro

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

Translated from the Spanish by Lawrence Schimel

Blog Tour stop for this YA debut from one of Mexico’s foremost authors.


" A wondrous adventure story of a boy who goes to live with his kooky, book-obsessed uncle in a library where books have supernatural powers..... "


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 holiday!

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 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.

Shy and uncertain, Juan learns from his uncle what makes him special, and how to embrace his uniqueness.

Featuring both a child of marital separation and a blind character, The Wild Book offers an opportunity for parents to introduce their children to the important issues of divorce and disability.

Braille books are a major plot point, and there is no line drawn between the disabled and abled: we are all just lovers of stories.

The Wild Book is a YA debut by one of Mexico’s best-known authors.

It has sold over 1.3 million copies in Spanish.

My Review

What an absolutely beautiful and magical read, both me and my mini twist boys were enthralled by this brilliant tale.

The whole book just feels magical and the story is amazing and I loved the idea of a place where books were alive!

Great characters and beautiful sentiment a real book for book lovers with homage paid to books of the past and stories build around how books from the past and the future influence our lives.

With the hunt for the wild book at it core this whole read was full of fun and adventure, it does touch on separation in the divorce of Juan's parents but put emphasis on the importance of family.

We all enjoyed this read together and we were quite sad when it came to an end!

Author Bio

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, God Is Round (Restless Books).

Villoro lives in Mexico City and is a visiting lecturer at Yale and Princeton universities.

Lawrence Schimel is an award-winning author and translator of books. He lives in Madrid and New York City.

Purchase Links

The Wild Book - Amazon link


HopeRoad, set up in 2012, specialises in writers and writing from and about Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Their aim is to give a voice to writers and stories that might otherwise be missed by the mainstream book trade.

Blog Tour

Thank you to the Publisher and Author for sending me an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this novel and for the opportunity to review these works.

All reviews are my own unbiased opinion.

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