Title: Music for Tigers
Author: Michelle Kadarusman
Genre: Middle Grade Realistic Fiction
Number of Pages: 192
Well, this book just goes to show you can learn new things from kids’ books at any age. Even though it’s a work of fiction it taught me some about Tasmania and it’s wildlife. Music for Tigers tells the story of a girl named Louisa who is sent to stay with her uncle in Tasmania.
Initially she’s unhappy with the arrangement because the house she’s staying in in rustic and lacking in modern convenience, and she wants to focus all her energy into playing her violin. However, when Louisa starts reading the diary of her great-grandmother, she starts to understand the importance of ecology and her uncle’s fight to save endangered species.
I decided to read this book because one of the main characters, Colin, has Asperger’s Syndrome. I liked his character and I thought the book did a good job portraying him, with compassion and a relative amount of subtlety.
Louisa and Colin’s friendship was one of the best parts of the story. I thought the weakest part was actually the great-grandmother’s diary, the parallels between her and Louisa’s arc was way too obvious and her journal entries didn’t feel realistic.
They were very linear and I didn’t connect to the character of the great-grandmother the way I was supposed to. They didn’t give the sense of coming from a real person’s diary and there wasn’t enough detail to really make them feel like they came from the past.
I think this book did a good job of being informative while still telling a good story, and it has an excellent message about preserving the environment. It wasn’t one of my favorite middle grade books I’ve read this year but I suspect it would have more to offer for younger readers.
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