Music for Tigers

Featured
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
1182 0
Music for Tigers
Publisher
Age Range
10+
Release Date
April 28, 2020
ISBN
978-1772780543

Shipped halfway around the world to spend the summer with her mom’s eccentric Australian relatives, middle schooler and passionate violinist Louisa is prepared to be resentful. But life at the family’s remote camp in the Tasmanian rainforest is intriguing, to say the least. There are pig-footed bandicoots, scary spiders, weird noises and odors in the night, and a quirky boy named Colin who cooks the most amazing meals. Not the least strange is her Uncle Ruff, with his unusual pet and veiled hints about something named Convict Rock. Finally, Louisa learns the truth: Convict Rock is a sanctuary established by her great-grandmother Eleanor―a sanctuary for Tasmanian tigers, Australia’s huge marsupials that were famously hunted into extinction almost a hundred years ago. Or so the world believes. Hidden in the rainforest at Convict Rock, one tiger remains. But now the sanctuary is threatened by a mining operation, and the last Tasmanian tiger must be lured deeper into the forest. The problem is, not since her great-grandmother has a member of the family been able to earn the shy tigers’ trust. As the summer progresses, Louisa forges unexpected connections with Colin, with the forest, and―through Eleanor’s journal―with her great-grandmother. She begins to suspect the key to saving the tiger is her very own music. But will her plan work? Or will the enigmatic Tasmanian tiger disappear once again, this time forever?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Defying Extinction
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
A vividly descriptive Middle-Grade work with an ecological focus--enriched by elements of music, friendship, and atypical neurology.

When her parents get busy with work, Canadian-born Louisa is shipped off to spend the summer with an uncle she's never met--in the Tarkine forests of Tasmania. Initially, Louisa is agonizingly disinterested in everything outside of her drive to practice her violin. Her uncle is a recluse who lives in an abandoned logging camp turned makeshift animal preserve--and is focused on a dying bandicoot, which has apparently been his sole companion for many years. The only person her age nearby turns out to be an autistic boy named Colin, whose savant expertise for the forest is a counter to his uncertainty over social cues. And there is a family mystery of sorts, revolving around the grandmother that Louisa never knew...

I was drawn to this book because I recognized the hindquarters of a Tasmanian Tiger on the cover. (It was in middle school that I learned of these so recently extinct creatures, and became intensely fascinated with them.) And while it turned out to be far lighter on the "Tigers" than I would have liked, it was still good to see them referenced and given a bit of life.

The pacing is a bit slow, the tension only rising a couple of times. The mystery angle in this story is a bit thin, as well--since no one is actually trying to keep any of the family "secrets" from the MC (Louisa was simply too obsessed with her violin to pay attention to what her mother had tried to explain to her about her great-grandmother, the camp, and the animals their family has long tried to protect.) The bits of her great-grand's diary she's able to read are a delight--written with a strong voice and a sense of historical authenticity. But just as Louisa is starting to connect with her, we find the rest of her personal entries were lost in a fire. And the great-grandmother's voice is, sadly, not revisited.

Louisa herself is a bit difficult to connect with for much of the book. Her fixation on her violin dominates her self-identity, which makes more sense when we eventually learn she's had problems with performance anxiety and failed her previous children's orchestra auditions... Although it's revealed so late into the story, and hinted at so little, it struck this reader as oddly surprising.

On the plus side, Louisa and Colin's friendship is both a prominent element and a highlight--leading to noteworthy character growth for each. Louisa is largely adaptive to Colin's quirks from the get-go (thanks in part to his mother's explanation of his behaviors and difficulties), and at one point even assists him in interpreting the facial expressions and intentions of some of his more snide classmates. And while Colin's savantism stands as a commonly known possible aspect of being on the autism spectrum, his movement coping for agitation/overstimulation is less so.

I would readily recommend this for young contemporary fiction and nature lovers. There's some great potential here for building empathy, educating on species extinction, and expanding familiarity with neurological diversity--all while steeping readers in the atmosphere of an incredibly unique biome.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 1

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Shatter City
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
When the world sees Frey, they think they see her...
If You Miss Me
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A healing story of loss and love, this beautiful picture...
Learning about the Garden with Sleeping Beauty (Fairytale Encyclopedia)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Roses were very dangerous for Sleeping Beauty―that everybody knows. But...
Squirrel Do Bad (Trubble Town, #4)
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the author of the “Pearls Before Swine” comic strip...
Playing the Cards You'reDealt
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ten-year-old Anthony Joplin has made it to double digits! Which...
Discovering the Underground with Snow White (Fairytale Encyclopedia)
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
There are not only dwarves in the underground. This hidden...
Rock by Rock: The Fantastical Garden of Nek Chand
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
This luminous picture book tells the fascinating true story of...
Bisa's Carnaval
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Discover the sights and sounds of Brazil through the eyes...
Redemptor (Raybearer, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The highly anticipated sequel to Raybearer, the instant New York...
Dark and Shallow Lies
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A teen girl disappears from her small town deep in...
Imposters
 
4.0
 
5.0 (1)
Frey and Rafi are inseparable . . . but very...
Better Than the Movies
 
4.7
 
5.0 (1)
Liz Buxbaum has always known that Wes Bennett was not...
African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
Meet the ten remarkable kings, queens, inventors, scholars, and visionaries...
Count to LOVE! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book)
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
Cuddle up with your little one and get ready to...
The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
THE MYSTERY OF THE MEANEST TEACHER: A JOHNNY CONSTANTINE GRAPHIC...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A shocking thriller about a group of friends who go...

Latest Member Reviews

If You Miss Me
 
5.0
"IF YOU MISS ME is a beautiful picture book about loss, love, and grief. Charlie loves to dance, and she..."
Squirrel Do Bad (Trubble Town, #4)
 
3.0
"SQUIRREL DO BAD is an entertaining graphic novel about the consequences of small actions. The book begins with Wendy the..."
Cold-Blooded Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle #3)
 
4.0
"Myrtle's small English village is like many who seem to suffer from far too many murders, especially for the late..."
Playing the Cards You'reDealt
 
5.0
"Anthony "Ant" Joplin is in his last year of elementary school (where his aunt is principal-- not at all awkward!),..."
Bisa's Carnaval
 
5.0
"BISA'S CARNAVAL is a colorful and delightful celebration of Carnaval and family. Bisa loves Carnaval and is happy to show..."
Count to LOVE! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book)
 
5.0
S Santana
"i am giving this testimony cos l am happy My name is Mrs. Santana Valdez from Houston,taxes.i never believed in..."
Kyle's Little Sister
 
4.0
"Grace is just entering 6th grade, and will be rejoining her older brother Kyle at school, where he is a..."
Willa of Dark Hollow (Willa of the Wood, 2)
 
4.5
"What I Loved: In the first book, I left wanting to see Willa interact more in nature. In this..."
The Memory Thief  (Thirteen Witches #1)
 
4.0
"Rosie Singer knows something is wrong with her mom. She doesn’t comfort her or look at her the way her..."
The Oddmire, Book 1: Changeling
 
5.0
"What I Loved: The Oddmire, Book 1 Changeling delivered a lot of heart and humor in this first installment...."
Count to LOVE! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book)
 
5.0
"Beginning with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. about love, COUNT TO LOVE! is a cute poem that encourages..."
The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel
 
4.5
"THE MYSTERY OF THE MEANEST TEACHER is an adventure-filled graphic novel about Johnny (Kid) Constantine. We start by meeting Kid..."
Bird Boy
 
4.5
"BIRD BOY is a sweet picture book about being yourself and embracing your differences. Nico is the new kid in..."
Love You By Heart
 
4.5
"LOVE YOU BY HEART is a simple but beautiful story of love. Featuring a big and little heart, the book..."
Fa-La-La Llama (Touch-and-Feel Board Book)
 
5.0
"FA-LA-LA LLAMA is a delightfully festive board book song. The book features llamas getting into the spirit of the non-religious..."
Ground Zero
 
5.0
"This book delivers the stories of both Brandon, a nine year old in New York City during the 9/11 attacks,..."
The Last Gate of the Emperor
 
5.0
"Yared Heywat has lived with his Uncle Moti since the death of his parents. They have moved around in very..."
Sunny Makes a Splash (Sunny #4)
 
5.0
"It's summer just outside Philadelphia in 1978, and Sunny is faced with the tedium of watching her younger brother Teddy..."
The Magical Reality of Nadia (The Magical Reality of Nadia #1)
 
4.5
"Nadia and her best friend Adam are excited about starting 6th grade. After spending the summer with cousins in Egypt,..."
Traitors Among Us
 
5.0
"Sisters Krystia and Maria think they're safe after WWII ends. They've seen the horrors of the war ravage their native..."