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Tiger Boy

by Mitali Perkins
Illustrated by Jamie Hogan

Published by Charlesbridge, 2015
140 pages
ISBN: 978-1-58089-660-3

Ages 7-10

Neel lives on one of the Sundarban islands off the coast of Bangladesh. Neelís father has always said itís important to protect the land and the tigers, so Neel is dismayed when Baba agrees to work for wealthy Mr. Gupta hunting a tiger cub that escaped from a nearby refuge. Everyone knows Mr. Gupta wants to sell the cub on the black market. But hardworking Baba needs extra money to hire a tutor to help Neel prepare for an upcoming scholarship exam. Neel doesnít care about the scholarship; he has no desire to leave the island for further schooling. He does care about the little cub, however, so he and his older sister, Rupa, who wishes she could go to school, are determined to find the cub before anyone else, even Baba, and return it to the refuge. The sense of urgency that propels Neel and Rupaís hunt for the cub creates the perfect amount of tension in an engaging story wonderfully grounded in Neelís point of view and his experiences in his family and community. Their effort to save the cub helps Neel understand how furthering his education is one means of helping protect the place he lives. Just the right amount of information about the complexities of economic and environmental issues is seamlessly incorporated into this warm, lively chapter book featuring occasional illustrations and a satisfying and believable ending. An authorís note tells more about the islands and their environmental and economic struggles. (MS)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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