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Author: Perkins, Mitali
A tiger cub has escaped from a reserve in the Sunderbans in West Bengal, India, and Neel, a poor boy from the islands, is determined to find her in order to save her from being captured and sold on the black market by Mr. Gupta and his men.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.10
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 173614
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 65922
Kirkus Reviews (01/15/15)
School Library Journal (+) (02/01/15)
The Hornbook (00/03/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2015 Gr 3–6—Set in the lush Sundarbans natural region of Bengal, this quiet, gripping tale emphasizes the deep but often fragile connection that exists between humans and nature. Passing exams will earn young Neel a much-coveted scholarship for a private boarding school in Kolkata, and the boy's family has their dreams pinned on him, feeling that a good education will ensure him a better quality of life. But Neel is too attached to the "golpata branches swaying in the monsoon rains…the evening smell of jasmine flowers…mingling with green chilies and fresh ilish fish simmering in mustard-seed oil" to ever consider leaving his home. He studies only halfheartedly for his tests, incurring the wrath of his serious headmaster. When a female tiger cub escapes from a neighboring animal reserve, Neel is determined to find her before she's snagged by greedy poachers led by Mr. Gupta, a corrupt local businessman. Gupta employs several of the villagers, including Neel's father, tempting them with additional income if they assist in the illegal effort. Informed by real-life situations in the region, Perkins avoids black-and-white characterizations and compassionately illustrates how dire circumstances affect a person's choices. Young readers will revel in the vivid action and suspense surrounding Neel and his sister Rupa's quest to locate the tiger cub. Adults will likely praise the novel's simple and clear narrative, which belies its complexity around issues related to climate change, poor economic conditions, class structure, and gender discrimination. VERDICT Sure to encourage vital conversations among children, this is a fine addition to libraries and classrooms seeking to diversify collections.—Lalitha Nataraj, Escondido Public Library, CA - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2015 On an island in the Sunderbans of Bengal, a tiger cub escapes from its reserve, causing a stir in a nearby village. There, a boy named Neel finds searching for the cub far more interesting than studying to win a scholarship that would take him from his beloved island. When word spreads that a wealthy poacher is also looking for the lost cub, Neel knows that he must find it first to protect it from a fate on the black market. Using his knowledge of the island and his classroom smarts, he makes a plan and realizes winning the scholarship might be worthwhile after all. This story opens a door to a largely unseen corner of the world, where people live among protected mangrove forests and man-eating tigers. Charcoal drawings offer glimpses of island life, and Perkins adds authenticity by including Bangla vocabulary. The narrative raises real concerns facing the Sunderbans, and additional information and resources are provided for readers whose curiosity is sparked by Neel and his exotic home. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.