Music for Tigers – book review

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Music for Tigers
by Michelle Kadarusman
Realistic Fiction
for tweens (grades 4-8)
* * * Stars (Pretty good)

Louisa is sent to stay with her uncle in Tasmania at a small camp in the Tarkine wilderness for her summer vacation while her biologist parents are off doing research. Louisa would have preferred to stay at home and prepare for her audition with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, but has to make do with a radical change of scenery instead. Over the course of her time there, she learns more about her family’s history with the camp and particularly about her Great Grandmother, who befriended a Tasmanian tiger (thylacine), and then spent her life trying to conserve the species. The tigers have not been seen for many years, but Louisa’s arrival (and the music she plays on her violin) may have attracted one back to the camp. Unfortunately, the camp is no longer a haven for the tigers, and they are going to have to trap this one and bring her to a safer location. Louisa and her uncle and new friends (including Colin, a neurodivergent boy about her age), and indigenous Tasmanians must all work together to ensure the tiger finds a new home.

A succinct story of friendship, family, and rescue that will introduce readers to the thylacine. An afterward provides more information about this unique species of carnivorous marsupial (it resembles a striped dog moreso than the tigers most people will be familiar with).

Reviewed by YA Librarian