Neel, a young Bengali boy, lives with his parents and sister in an island village neighboring a dangerous tiger reserve. Upon hearing that a female tiger cub has escaped from the reserve and is loose on Neel’s island, fear sets in with villagers that the mother will soon swim to the island to retrieve the cub. Wealthy newcomer Mr. Gupta offers a reward to whomever finds the cub—but his motives are purely evil as he plans to sell the cub on the black market. Neel and his older sister, Rupa, decide to search for the cub themselves.
The events surrounding their search lead Neel to a change of heart. Perhaps the prestigious scholarship he once dismissed is now something he should work hard to obtain. He begins to realize what is truly important in life and sets out on a path of improvement for himself, his family, his island, and the rest of the Sunderbans.
Author Mitali Perkins traveled to West Bengal, meeting with experts at the Nature Environment and Wildlife Society and the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve. This thoroughly researched book will take readers on a journey proving that sometimes you have to take risks to preserve what you love.
Jamie Hogan’s beautiful black-and-white illustrations accompany much of the story. Backmatter includes information on organizations working with Bengal tigers and the Sunderbans, as well as a glossary of key terms.
Illustrated by: Jamie Hogan
Published by: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.