Wildhood: The Epic Journey from Adolescence to Adulthood in Humans and Other Animals

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Adolescence is a difficult time as one transitions from a sheltered life to independence. This book explores the in-between stage in various species (calling it “Wildhood). The intent is to highlight similarities between human adolescence and adolescence experienced by other species.

To keep a coherent narrative, the book explores four major themes: safety (leaving the comfort and safety of home), Status (navigating hierarchy), Sex (courtship, relationship, and consent), and self-reliance (sustaining the specie). Each theme focuses on a particular adolescent’s journey. Readers share the experience of safety with Ursula, a king penguin, who ventures into leopard seal infested waters. They learn about Shrink, a spotted hyena, as he navigates the hyena hierarchy. They follow Salt, a humpback whale, as she finds love. They journey with Slavc, a European wolf, as he journeys across the Alps in winter. Along the way, readers meet several other (non-human) adolescents. The narrative is not shy about drawing parallels between non-human and human behavior and urges, and at times these parallels stretch too far.

The book is filled with various examples from several species, representing a vast amount of research. However, its scope and style preclude deeper dive into the underlying research, thus leaving readers to trust the assertions made. Overall, well-written and an excellent read for those looking to find similarities between humans and other animals who share our planet.

Reviewed By:

Author Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher Scribner
Publish Date 2019-09-17
ISBN 9781501164699
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2020
Category Science & Nature


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