Sunday, September 27, 2015

Leapin' into a new week with Tiger Boy by Mitali Perkins

My daughter's Bat Mitzvah is in less than two weeks.  I'm shocked that I have even a moment to read, let alone then blog about it! I did manage to finish Tiger Boy by Mitali Perkins. My friend, Susan Polos, recommended it to me since she was considering putting it on her Mock Newbery list and I was not disappointed.

This is a perfect read for anyone who likes adventure, suspense, animals or learning about another culture.  A tiger cub is loose near Neel's island village in the Sunderbans, on the border of Bangladesh and India.  Not only do the villagers want to find her, they need to keep her away from Mr. Gupta.  Mr. Gupta, the rich man and poacher and has come to the island to catch tigers so he can sell their body parts. He wants this cub so badly that he is paying a lot of money to some of the natives to search the island for the cub.

But Neel knows the nooks and crannies of the land better than anyone so he is determined, with his sister, to find the cub and return her to the preserve.  Will Neel and Rupa find the cub first before Mr. Gupta?  Will she be safe?  Finding the answers to those questions and more, will keep young readers glued to the text.

And not only is the story about finding the hidden cub, but also about Neel's possible opportunity at a scholarship to take him off the island to study.  Although Neel doesn't want to leave his home and is not motivated to get a tutor to help him study for the exam, his perseverance in searching for the cub and his will to save the tigers from poachers, might be just what he needs to think seriously about getting into the new school.

The back of the book holds a glossary (that I found myself flipping to a few times) and a list of websites if you want more information about Bengal Tigers and organizations working to improve life in the Sunderbans.  I hope my students will want to know more and turn to these resources.

Last week, I told one of our Reading Specialists about this book.  He took a brief look at it and thinks it is perfect for his reading group of fifth grade boys.  He will read it together with them during our Newbery unit. Yes!

In other news, yesterday was our Castleton Elementary School Community Fair.  I volunteered an hour in the "dunking booth" which is really a bucket filled with ICE COLD water that empties over your head if the player hits the target.  All for a good cause, right?  And today, in the WARM sun, my whole family ran the Dunkin Run in Albany.  It was a "dunkin" sort of weekend.  And yes, we took some jumping pictures:

Check out my leapin' family!

I'm excited to LEAP into a new week and on Thursday, a new month!

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