cover image Tiger Boy

Tiger Boy

Mitali Perkins, illus. by Jamie Hogan. Charlesbridge, $14.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-58089-660-3

Set amid the tidal mangrove forests of the Sunderbans of India and Bangladesh, Perkins’s story follows the efforts of a boy named Neel to track down a tiger cub that has escaped from a local reserve (the Sunderbans are a Unesco World Heritage site, Perkins notes in a glossary). To pay Neel’s mother’s medical bills, his Baba (father) works all hours for a man named Gupta, a newcomer to the area who has been buying up property and cutting down rare sundari trees. With Gupta offering a reward for the capture of the tiger cub (he plans to sell its skin on the black market), Neel and his sister, Rupa, make a plan to find the cub first. Perkins’s (Bamboo People) evocative descriptions, boosted by Hogan’s dramatic pastel drawings, convey an intense love and respect for the region’s culture and environment. Readers should find it easy to become invested in the cub’s return to the reserve and in Neel’s fight to help create the best future for himself, his family, and his home. Ages 7–10. Author’s agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Apr.)