“One of the new tiger cubs has escaped from the reserve!” When a tiger cub escapes from a nature reserve near Neel’s island village, the rangers and villagers hurry to find her before the cub’s anxious mother follows suit and endangers them all. Mr. Gupta, a rich newcomer to the island, is also searching—he wants to sell the cub’s body parts on the black market. Neel and his sister, Rupa, resolve to find the cub first and bring her back to the reserve where she belongs. The hunt for the cub interrupts Neel’s preparations for an exam to win a prestigious scholarship at a boarding school far from home. Neel doesn’t mind—he dreads the exam and would rather stay on his beloved island in the Sunderbans of West Bengal with his family and friends. But through his encounter with the cub, Neil learns that sometimes you have to take risks to preserve what you love. And sometimes you have to sacrifice the present for the chance to improve the future.
Mitali Bose Perkins was born in Kolkata (Calcutta), India. Her name means “friendly” in Bangla, and she had to try and live up to it because the Bose family moved so often - they lived in India, Ghana, Cameroon, London, New York City, and Mexico City before settling in the San Francisco Bay Area when she was in middle school.
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