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Feral Kid

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Feral Kid, by Libby Hathorn, is an entertaining book about Robbie, a 15 year old boy, who runs away from home, and becomes a street kid. Throughout this book, the theme is generally about how a young boy tried desperately to fit in to a hostile environment.

From the very beginning, the author takes care to express the theme of a sense of place through the characters. The main character, Robbie, forms an unlikely partnership with the toughened streetwise guy, Pale, and a bond is made between the two. It shows how Robbie tries to convince himself that he belongs on the street, even though, deep down inside, he knows that he doesn't have the personality if a street kid, but of a frightened boy, longing for affection.

The setting of the novel also expresses the theme of a sense of place. The reader is taken into an environment where each day brings with it a new test for survival, in the harsh reality of Robbie's surroundings. (pg 136 - "A dank, smelling, damp reservoir- a hell of his own choice. The blackness was thick and unrelenting. He had to remind himself of where he was and why he was here".)

throughout the novel are events which play a key part in holding the storyline together. One of these major events is the attempted bag snatching from Iris Walker. Robbie apologizes to the old lady, after pushing her over, and this demonstrates the absence of the mean streak of a street kid. (pg 15-16 -"But Robbie hadn't liked what had happened with the old lady. Up close, it hadn't been as easy at all. His heart wasn't in it".)

Robbie is portrayed as a young boy, trying to find his own personal identity, whose sense of decency prevails. The book offers a brief but valuable insight to life on the streets, and how every single person, whether they admit it or not, needs to feel loved, and that they belong.



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