National Council of Teachers of English Charlotte Huck Honor Book
International Reading Association's Notable Book for a Global Society
One of World Magazine Best Children's Books of the Year
★ (School Library Journal) Gr 3-6–Set in the lush Sundarbans natural region of Bengal, this quiet, gripping tale emphasizes the deep but often fragile connection that exists between humans and nature ... Perkins avoids black-and-white characterizations and compassionately illustrates how dire circumstances affect a person’s choices. Young readers will revel in the vivid action and suspense surrounding Neel and his sister Rupa’s quest to locate the tiger cub. Adults will likely praise the novel’s simple and clear narrative, which belies its complexity around issues related to climate change, poor economic conditions, class structure, and gender discrimination.
(Shelf Awareness) "Perkins brings the island to life through its sounds, smells, foods and people. Jamie Hogan's charcoal drawings help readers picture the exotic setting, and the pictures of Neel and the tiger cub make palpable the bond between them. A glossary and list of organizations working to support the wildlife and people of the Sunderbans round out this enlightening novel. Perkins shows young readers that their actions can force adults to confront their own conscience."
(National Geographic Traveller India) "Tiger Boy is a story of hope; it’s about the splendour of the mangrove forests and islands, the magnificence of the tiger and its vulnerability, and human resilience in the face of adversity."
(Publishers Weekly) ...Perkins’s (Bamboo People) evocative descriptions, boosted by Hogan’s dramatic pastel drawings, convey an intense love and respect for the region’s culture and environment. Readers should find it easy to become invested in the cub’s return to the reserve and in Neel’s fight to help create the best future for himself, his family, and his home.
★ (Redeemed Reader) ... The author packs a lot into a simple story: adventure, danger, suspense, humor, and heart. And who could resist a baby tiger? Ultimately the story is about that classic teacher’s adage, living up to one’s potential. Even reluctant readers should be engaged from the first page, and the charcoal-on-canvas illustrations add appeal.
(The Horn Book) ... Fast-paced action, lots of references to the local flora and fauna, and clearly laid-out moral dilemmas come together in a satisfying way. The glossary and end notes add much to the story and answer any questions that a reader unfamiliar with the archipelago might have.
(Indian Express) "Read the book to find out who finds the cub — and how. It will be time well-spent. The language is easy, the tale, gripping. Young (and adult) readers are bound to get caught in the suspense and the action that surrounds the siblings’ quest for the cub. I found myself racing toward the end in one satisfying read. On the surface, the story is simple. But what I liked about the book is the multiplicity and complexity of issues that the author weaves in, effortlessly, in the narrative: climate change, gender discrimination, the press of poverty and how it compels you to work against your conscience.
(Indian Moms Connect) "It’s only once a while that you get a book that manages to create a lump in your throat and at the same time makes you read as fast as you can because you want to know what happens next. Tiger Boy by Mitali Perkins, published by Duckbill Books, is one such book."
(Khabar Magazine) Perkins’ prose is exquisite. She paints a vivid picture of the landscape of life in the Sundarbans—the cool water of the freshwater pond that doubles as a swimming pool, the swaying golpata branches in the monsoon rains, the evening aroma of jasmine flowers and the wild guavas in the mangrove forest. The theme of environmental sustainability binds this riveting plot.
(Kirkus) The Kolkata-born author ... lovingly depicts this beautiful tropical forest in the context of Neel’s efforts to find the cub and his reluctance to leave his familiar world ... the sense of place is strong and the tiger cub’s rescue very satisfying. Pastel illustrations will help readers envision the story. A multicultural title with obvious appeal for animal-loving middle graders.
Book of the Week (CCBC) — ... Just the right amount of information about the complexities of economic and environmental issues is seamlessly incorporated into this warm, lively chapter book featuring occasional illustrations and a satisfying and believable ending.
(Great Kid Books) ... A fantastic read-aloud!