Review Blog

Sep 03 2014

Tiger Stone by Deryn Mansell

cover image

Black Dog Books, 2014. ISBN 9781742032399.
(Age: Middle school) Themes: Asia - Indonesia; Truth and betrayal; Historical fantasy; Friendship. This novel is bookended by chapters that introduce a modern day girl from Java, Indonesia, who is about to leave home to study. Her story is linked to the 14th century historical fantasy drama that forms the basis for most of the storyline.The teak-coloured 'tiger eyes' that the modern and historical central characters share, create a mystical thread that connect the disparate time settings.
The central story creates a background explaining the unique coloured eyes and explaining how a young girl deals with family tragedy and changed circumstances by being required to pretend that she is mute. Her friendship with a young disabled boy serves to help her protect her family from illness and her community from bandits and thieves, with one disguised as a potential suitor for her cousin. Even though she is essentially voiceless and powerless in her community, she exercises great wisdom in solving the problems she faces. This story line is woven within an understanding of historical Indonesia, with the mythical understandings of the traditional world of 14th Century Indonesia.
Students studying Indonesian or English teachers wanting to connect texts with Cross-curriculum focus with Asia will add this book to their reading lists. It is an engaging story, suited to Middle school readers.
Carolyn Hull

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