I have always been fascinated by tigers. When these regal beasts roaming our jungles are captured in stories, I feel they elevate the stories to a new level.
I scoured through Goodreads to list some books featuring the majestic tigers and came up with some gems. I am excited to add these books to my To-Be-Read pile. I hope some of them also make their way to yours.
Do not be surprised if some of the books are set in my country, India. It is after all the home to the Royal Bengal Tiger.
Happy browsing through the list.
The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant
Genre: Non-fiction, History || Pages: 352 || Published August 24th, 2010 by Knopf
A gripping story of man pitted against nature’s most fearsome and efficient predator.
Outside a remote village in Russia’s Far East a man-eating tiger is on the prowl. The tiger isn’t just killing people, it’s murdering them, almost as if it has a vendetta. A team of trackers is dispatched to hunt down the tiger before it strikes again. They know the creature is cunning, injured, and starving, making it even more dangerous. As John Vaillant re-creates these extraordinary events, he gives us an unforgettable and masterful work of narrative nonfiction that combines a riveting portrait of a stark and mysterious region of the world and its people, with the natural history of nature’s most deadly predator.
No Beast So Fierce: The Terrifying True Story of the Champawat Tiger, the Deadliest Animal in HistorY by Dane Huckelbridge
Genre: Non-fiction, History || Pages: 304 || Published 5 February 2019 by William Morrow
The astonishing true story of the man-eating tiger that claimed a record 437 human lives.
Nepal, c. 1900: A lone tigress began stalking humans, moving like a phantom through the lush foothills of the Himalayas. As the death toll reached an astonishing 436 lives, a young local hunter was dispatched to stop the man-eater before it struck again. This is the extraordinary true story of the “Champawat Man-Eater,” the deadliest animal in recorded history.
One part pulse-pounding thriller, one-part soulful natural history of the endangered Royal Bengal tiger, No Beast So Fierce is Dane Huckelbridge’s gripping nonfiction account of the Champawat tiger, which terrified northern India and Nepal from 1900 to 1907, and Jim Corbett, the legendary hunter who pursued it. Huckelbridge’s masterful telling also reveals that the tiger, Corbett, and the forces that brought them together are far more complex and fascinating than a simple man-versus-beast tale.
The Time Traveller and the Tiger by Tania Unsworth
Genre: Adventure, Middle-grade || Pages: 256 || Published October 2020 by Zephyr
Face to face with the mightiest and most majestic predator in the jungle, Elsie is in awe of the tiger’s beauty. She’s on a mission to have the adventure of a lifetime, save the tiger and change the future. With echoes of Tom’s Midnight Garden, Tania Unsworth writes about transcendent friendships and conservation in the animal kingdom.
Elsie is not looking forward to the long summer holiday with her creaky, old Uncle John. But then the unimaginable happens as Time unravels and Elsie tumbles back to 1940s India to meet her Uncle John as a young boy on a tiger hunt. Can Elsie stop him from doing what he’s already told her is a wrong he can never right?
The Time Traveller and the Tiger is a multi-layered novel for 9–12-year-olds, rich in adventure, mystery, historical and conservation themes.
It is beautifully illustrated.
Little Tigers by Jo Weaver
Genre: Middle-grade || Pages: 32 || Published October 1st, 2019 by Peachtree Publishing Company
Told through the eyes of a tiger and her two cubs, this beautiful book is a celebration of the love between parent and child, and the wonders of the natural world.
Honor your oath, destroy your country.
There are humans in the jungle… So Mother Tiger and her cubs need to leave their den. Follow them on their journey through the deepest parts of the jungle, exploring its secret places, in search of somewhere warm and dry to lay their heads. A safe place. A new home.
With evocative charcoal drawings and gentle, lyrical storytelling, Little Tigers has the feel of an instant classic. Perfect for fans of the BBC’s Planet Earth, this beautiful book will inspire young nature lovers.
The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo
Genre: Middle-grade || Pages: 128 || Published July 1st, 2002 by Candlewick Press
Featuring a cover illustration by Stephen Walton.
Walking through the misty Florida woods one morning, twelve-year-old Rob Horton is stunned to encounter a tiger—a real-life, very large tiger—pacing back and forth in a cage. What’s more, on the same extraordinary day, he meets Sistine Bailey, a girl who shows her feelings as readily as Rob hides his. As they learn to trust each other, and ultimately, to be friends, Rob and Sistine prove that some things—like memories, and heartache, and tigers—can’t be locked up forever.
Tiger Heart by Penny Chrimes
Genre: Middle-grade || Pages: 240 || Published January 9th, 2020 by Orion Children’s Books
One magical friendship. One roaring adventure.
The magical tale of a bold young chimney sweep and a remarkable tiger, a dangerously hypnotic ruby and a mystical land found across an ocean and through a storm. Perfect for fans of The Girl of Ink and Stars and Pax.
Fly never meant to end up in a cage with a man-eating tiger. And though she’s no princess, when the tiger bows to her, she can’t help vowing to free him and return him home.
But the bird-filled jungles and cloud-topped mountains of the tiger’s homeland are an ocean away. And not everyone wants the tiger to return.
With dark and dangerous forces working against them, will Fly be able to fulfil her promises, keep them both alive and – just maybe – become the queen her tiger knows her to be?
When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo
Genre: Fantasy || Pages: 128 || Published December 8th, 2020 by Tordotcom
Nghi Vo returns to the empire of Ahn and The Singing Hills Cycle in this mesmerizing, lush standalone follow-up to The Empress of Salt and Fortune.
The cleric Chih finds themself and their companions at the mercy of a band of fierce tigers who ache with hunger. To stay alive until the mammoths can save them, Chih must unwind the intricate, layered story of the tiger and her scholar lover—a woman of courage, intelligence, and beauty—and discover how truth can survive becoming history.
Tiger by the tail by Venita Coelho
Genre: Animal Fiction || Pages: 176 || Published January 5th, 2014 by Hachette India.
MISSION BRIEF: Tigers are being reported missing from wildlife reserves across India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Several hundred tigers have vanished. Something, or someone, is taking them. And if they are not stopped, this could mean the end of the species. It is time the Animal Intelligence Agency got involved.
NOTE: The Animal Intelligence Agency is a multi-species nongovernmental agency. Specially trained Animal and Human agents work undercover to save animals and save the world. Some of them have the license to kill.
The following agents have been assigned to the case:
Agent No. 002
Species: Panthera tigris tigris
One of our most experienced agents. 250 kilos of sheer intelligence and muscle. Licensed to kill.
Agent No. XXXX
Species: Semnopithecus entellus
Formerly an agent but removed from duty in disgrace after the Incident of the Exploding Mangoes. License cancelled.
NOTE: KEEP A CLOSE WATCH. HIGHLY UNPREDICTABLE.
Agent No. 11.5
Species: Homo sapiens sapiens
Skinny. Allergic to everything. No brawn, plenty of brain. Great facility with technology. Fluent in JungleSpeak. Has the ability to speak to nearly all species.
NOTE: ALSO ALLERGIC TO CAT HAIR. MIGHT BE A PROBLEM WHEN HE PARTNERS WITH AGENT NO. OO2.
Agents have been instructed that this is an Alpha mission. Highest degree of difficulty and danger. The leads they have to follow lie in Kathmandu, the Sera monastery in Tibet and the Forbidden City in China. They will face danger, destruction, and possible death. The fate of the tiger species is in their hands.
This seems to be a highly entertaining book. Indian readers will be able to relate to this book. After all, Agent No. XXXX is named as “Kela” which is the Hindi word for banana.
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism || Pages: 460 || Published August 29th, 2006 by Seal Books
Yann Martel’s Life of Pi is a transformative novel, an astonishing work of imagination that will delight and stun readers in equal measure. It is a triumph of storytelling and a tale that will, as one character puts it, make you believe in God.
After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wide, wild Pacific. The crew of the surviving vessel consists of a hyena, one zebra (with broken leg), an orangutan, a 450-pound Royal Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker and Pi – a 16-year-old Indian boy. As the ‘crew’ begin to assert their natural places in the food chain, Pi’s fear mounts, and he must use all his wit and daring to develop an understanding with Richard the tiger. Life of Pi takes the reader on an extraordinary journey – geographical, spiritual, and emotional. A rare thing, here is a novel that will change your view of the world.
Music for Tigers by Michelle Kadarusman
Genre: Middle-grade || Pages: 192 || Published April 28th, 2020 by Pajama Press
A moving coming-of-age story wrapped up in the moss, leaves, and blue gums of the Tasmanian rainforest where, hidden under giant ferns, crouches its most beloved, and lost, creature.
Shipped halfway around the world to spend the summer with her mom’s eccentric Australian relatives, middle schooler and passionate violinist Louisa is prepared to be resentful. But life at the family’s remote camp in the Tasmanian rainforest is intriguing, to say the least. There are pig-footed bandicoots, scary spiders, weird noises and odors in the night, and a quirky boy named Colin who cooks the most amazing meals. Not the least strange is her Uncle Ruff, with his unusual pet and veiled hints about something named Convict Rock.
Finally, Louisa learns the truth: Convict Rock is a sanctuary established by her great-grandmother Eleanor—a sanctuary for Tasmanian tigers, Australia’s huge marsupials that were famously hunted into extinction almost a hundred years ago. Or so the world believes. Hidden in the rainforest at Convict Rock, one tiger remains. But now the sanctuary is threatened by a mining operation, and the last Tasmanian tiger must be lured deeper into the forest. The problem is, not since her great-grandmother has a member of the family been able to earn the shy tigers’ trust.
As the summer progresses, Louisa forges unexpected connections with Colin, with the forest, and—through Eleanor’s journal—with her great-grandmother. She begins to suspect the key to saving the tiger is her very own music. But will her plan work? Or will the enigmatic Tasmanian tiger disappear once again, this time forever?
The Tigers in the Tower by Julia Golding
Genre: Middle-grade || Pages: 224 || Published November 18th, 2020 by Lion Fiction
Can the quest to find her tigers a safe home, lead Sahira to find her own place of hope and belonging in this strange and foreign land?
Sahira’s family are travelling to England to deliver two majestic Indian tigers to the menagerie in the tower of London.
But tragedy strikes and sickness steals Sahira’s parents from her on the journey. Left alone in London, Sarhira finds herself confined to a miserable and dangerous orphanage. Despite her heartache and the threats she face, Sahira is determined to carry out her father’s last request – to protect God’s beautiful creatures: her tigers. To do so, Sahira must set out on an adventure and use all her powers of persuasion to engage the help of some new friends along the way.
Can the quest to find her tigers a safe home, lead Sahira to find her own place of hope and belonging in this strange and foreign land?
I loved this book. You can read my review to know why. (Sneak Peek: It has tigers, a brave girl, and a happy ending!)
Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan
From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold, comes Tiger Queen, a sweeping YA fantasy adventure that tells the story of a fierce desert princess battling to save her kingdom. Fans of Rebel of the Sands and Meagan Spooner will devour this retelling of Frank Stockton’s famous short story, “The Lady, or the Tiger?”
In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.
But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.
Night tiger by Yangsze Choo
Genre: Historical Fiction, Magical Realism || Pages: 384 || Published February 12th, 2019 by Flatiron Books
A sweeping historical novel about a dancehall girl and an orphan boy whose fates entangle over an old Chinese superstition about men who turn into tigers.
When 11-year-old Ren’s master dies, he makes one last request of his Chinese houseboy: that Ren find his severed finger, lost years ago in an accident, and reunite it with his body. Ren has 49 days, or else his master’s soul will roam the earth, unable to rest in peace.
Ji Lin always wanted to be a doctor, but as a girl in 1930s Malaysia, apprentice dressmaker is a more suitable occupation. Secretly, though, Ji Lin also moonlights as a dancehall girl to help pay off her beloved mother’s Mahjong debts. One night, Ji Lin’s dance partner leaves her with a gruesome souvenir: a severed finger. Convinced the finger is bad luck, Ji Lin enlists the help of her erstwhile stepbrother to return it to its rightful owner.
As the 49 days tick down, and a prowling tiger wreaks havoc on the town, Ji Lin and Ren’s lives intertwine in ways they could never have imagined. Propulsive and lushly written, The Night Tiger explores colonialism and independence, ancient superstition and modern ambition, sibling rivalry and first love. Braided through with Chinese folklore and a tantalizing mystery, this novel is a page-turner of the highest order.
Summary copied from respective publisher’s pages of the books/Goodreads. Image of tiger taken from freepik.
Hiya friends! Did any of the above books pique your interest? Let me know in the comments’ section below.