Cover Image: The Time Traveller and the Tiger

The Time Traveller and the Tiger

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Member Reviews

Tigers, time travel and wicked hunters - what's not to love about this story?
Elsie is reluctantly sent to stay with her Great Uncle John, who has a tiger skin rug in his spare room.  He tells her that it's his geatest regret.  When Elsie is transported back in time to India, where a young John is tailing a tiger he believes to be a maneater, she has the chance to rewrite history, although her top priority is just to get home safely. 
The main characters in the story, Elsie and Mandeep, are really appealing, and the reader can empathise with John, even while not always liking him very much.  But the story has another main character - the tiger who may or may not be a killer, and who is a vivid, fiery presence throughout.   There is plenty of action, heroes and villains, an environemental twist, and an immensely satisfying ending which ties up the time-travel knots.  
An excellent book, which junior readers will love.
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This book had my heart quickening over the tiger trade that was very much a part of India’s history.  Turning beautiful animals into trinkets and decorations made my blood boil along with the courageous children who feature throughout the story,
Great Uncle John is caring for Elsie while her parents are at work and he regrets the day he shot the tiger that adorns a room in his home.  Early one morning, finding the greenhouse open, Elsie stumbles upon a flower that John has told has magical powers.  Unbelieving this until she steps into 1946 and meets John as a child on the very day he hunts the tiger.
Over the coming days, Elsie and John form a friendship alongside Mandeep and they uncover a scary world of animal huntings and drugging.  
The children must form a plan to protect the tigers who still roam free and to release the tigers being held as trophies to be killed by visiting Westerners.  Being held in the hunting lodge, the children are on high alert and must use signals and tricks to figure this out. 

This book is a wonderful story interwoven with awareness of animal poaching for personal gain.  I was in awe of the bravery of the three children facing up to dangerous adults, stalking tigers and for Elsie, the worry of getting back to 2020.  

Will she have impacted the future by changing the past? 
Read this incredible story to find out what happens!  It is one you won’t soon forget!
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Elsie is an ordinary sort of girl. The sort of small girl who often gets overlooked, and forgotten. She is quiet, and compliant, and makes the best of whatever happens to her. So when her parents forget that her school holidays have started before they are free to take care of her, they have to arrange for her to go and stay with her Great Uncle for a week. Poor Elsie, forgotten again, just decides to make the best of things. On investigating the house she finds that her Great Uncle had lived in India as a boy, and he has an enormous tiger rug on the floor of one of the rooms. When Elsie asks him about the rug he seems unhappy, and he says he has to keep it because he was the one who shot the tiger when he was 12 years old, and he says it was the worst thing he ever did. So when Elsie suddenly finds herself magically transported back many, many years, to the time in India when her Great Uncle was 12 years old, she believes that she must try to stop him from killing the tiger, in order to put something right that happened a long time ago.

This story has the feel of an old, classic story, of a child who is sent away to the country, living with an elderly relative, and going on an adventure! I really liked all the different adventure aspects to the book, with the time travel, an adventure in another country, a family mystery to solve, and lots of moments of peril throughout! Elsie is an appealing character, and it's interesting to see her transported both in time and place.

In her free time, Elsie enjoys writing stories about a girl she calls Kelsie Corvette. When she's writing Kelsie's life, she's able to give her the exciting, successful life that she herself aspires to have. So when she finds herself in India, and she meets her Great Uncle John as a boy, she doesn't want to give him her real name, so she tells him her name is Kelsie Corvette, finally living out her fantasies of an adventurous life! Elsie gets to know John, as they try to find their way out of the forest, and during their travels they also meet up with John's friend Mandeep. Elsie knows that something had happened between John and Mandeep in the past that had meant they hadn't seen each other for a very long time, but she isn't sure what. The mystery surrounding the shooting of the tiger somehow also involves Mandeep.

As the children try to get back to John's family home, they find themselves captured by some hunters, and the mystery develops even further as they try to discover what is going on, and whether they can rescue not just one tiger, but lots of tigers who are all destined to be shot. There are horrible adults galore, and lots of creeping around to investigate, and listening in on conversations - all those aspects of children's adventures that we love!

This was a really engaging and enjoyable story to read. I liked Elsie, and the interplay of her character with John's works very well. He is very stubborn, and awkward, and yet Elsie also knows, from knowing him in her own time, that he's nice, and gentle, and kind. I particularly liked how Elsie is unable to convince him that she is from a different time. His reaction to the things she tries to tell him about the future is funny! It's also interesting to see his relationship with Mandeep when they meet him, and to see the skillsets of the two boys, and how Elsie works with them to uncover what is happening at the hunter's house.

You can imagine the backdrop of India as you read, and the elements of danger with the tigers and the hunters feels very real (but not too scary for bedtime reading!) Time travel can sometimes be tricky, with things being changed and ripple effects, but everything was explained easily, and it made sense! Even with the huge impact that Elsie's actions end up having on her Great Uncle's life. The chapters are nice and short, so although it's probably aimed at confident readers around 9 to 12 years old, I think more reluctant readers might be persuaded to give it a try as the chapters are very manageable. I found myself reading just a bit more, and then just a bit more again, wanting to see what would happen - definitely recommended as an exciting, fun read!
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I hardly ever read children's fiction, but I had to read this because of the beautiful cover and synopsis. Uncle John killed a tiger at the age of twelve and regrets it for the rest of his life. His little adventurous niece Elsie goes back in time and meets her uncle who was a child living in India at the time. She does everything to stop John make his mistake and change his fate. This was a quick reading experience and I really enjoyed it.
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