Our Class Tiger by Aleesah Darlinson
Oxford University Press, 2014. ISBN 9780195589726
Class 3M has adopted a tiger cub living in a sanctuary on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Berhaga was rescued after his mother had been shot when he was just five months old and the children do all sorts of fund-raising to get the money needed to send to the World Wildlife Fund each month so he can continue to be supported until he is old enough to be transferred to a national park.
Accompanied by stunning photographs the students of 3M explain the adoption as well as retelling the story of Berhaga's development. Fascinating facts about tigers are interspersed with the "speech bubble" text providing a unique insight into one of the world's most endangered creatures and helping the young reader understand why such magnificent animals need to be protected for the future. Apart from its important context which fits in perfectly with a sustainability theme, it is a model of a non fiction book for young students with all the essential elements that we teach students about at that age. Features such as contents, headings, captions, a glossary and an index are all there to help students understand the cues and clues of navigating an information text. It could also be used as inspiration for a class to write their own book providing a platform for their continued development in the information literacy process giving them both a context to put it into practice and a product to display their learning.
Ms Darlison was awarded the 2015 Environment Award for Children's Literature and the inaugural Puggle Award (Children's Choice Award) from the Wilderness Society for Our Class Tiger and it is richly deserved.