Review: The Girl Savage, by Katherine Rundell

Tonight’s review is of The Girl Savage, by Katherine Rundell


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What it’s about (from the publishers): Wilhelmina Silver’s world is golden. Living half-wild on an African farm with her horse, her monkey and her best friend, every day is beautiful. But when her home  is sold and Will is sent away to boarding school in England, the world becomes  impossibly difficult. For lions and hyenas are nothing compared to packs of  schoolgirls. Where can a girl run to in London? And will she have the courage to survive? An extremely special story of bravery, hope and the  wildness that lives in us all.

Holly’s review: This book is about a little girl who grows up on an African farm with two English parents. Her mother dies when she is little and leaves her with her father who she loves but when he dies she is sent off to boarding school in London. This book is daring, dangerous and treacherous. It is also very sad but with joys lying there in wait and that is why I like this book. This book is like a computer game. You don’t want to stop playing that game but instead you don’t want to stop reading the book. When I read this book, I feel like I am there watching it all unfold like a map. Uncover the life of this poor little girl under all the little flaps that are waiting to be read.

Sam’s review: Holly really took to this book and couldn’t stop reading it. Her dad and I didn’t get to read much of it with her because of her eagerness, which is surely the sign of a great children’s novel. The descriptions and style of writing are quite poetic in places and evocative not only of Wilhelmina’s sadness and fierce spirit but also of the environments in which she finds herself. You can feel her yearning for Africa and wish with her that she were back there with everyone she knows. Holly’s right – this is a sad book but the ending is optimistic and I wonder if we will be treated to more stories as part of a series? It doesn’t look like it but it would be intriguing to discover how her life unfolds.



  1. I always wanted a monkey when I growing up. I daresay it’s illegal to do anything so brutal as keep one in captivity now. And my parents wouldn’t even let me have a dog, much less anything so exotic. Although I did get a vicious rabbit called Lulu and a fluctuating population of mice. “the wildness that lives in us all.” is a wonderful way of describing what has become (by my ancient time of life) a yearning which will probably never get closer to fulfillment. Exploit that wildness while you’re young!


    • Thank you for the lovely comment. I have two cats and might like a monkey. Holly.

      Sorry, Holly, but a monkey’s out of the question! Though it might come in handy when I can’t reach the top of the cupboards… (Sam)


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