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Year of the Tiger: Music for Tigers (2020)

Recently, Chinese people around the world celebrated Lunar New Year, celebrating the end of the old year and the beginning of the new one. However, in Chinese culture, each year is associated with a specific animal corresponding with a certain astrological sign in the Chinese zodiac. This year is said to be associated with the Year of the Tiger. People born in this year are said to be brave, unpredictable, confident, and display great levels of willpower. Today’s post will highlight one of the books on our Year of the Tiger Booklist for children, focusing on a character who embodies a lot of these qualities.

Michelle Kadarusman is a Canadian-Indonesian author who has written books for both children and teens. Her third middle grade novel, titled Music for Tigers (2020) centers on Louisa, a confident and passionate girl who is forced to spend the summer with her Australian relatives. She would much rather be practicing her violin for her youth orchestra audition instead of spending time with her uncle Ruff, a veterinarian who cares for many of the animals in the area. After practicing her violin one night, she encounters a rare Tasmanian tiger. She learns from her uncle and her great-grandmothers diary that her family has been secretly protecting the last of the supposedly extinct Tasmanian tigers. When a mining operation threatens the safety and security of the last Tasmanian tiger in existence, Louisa and her uncle must find a way to help the tigers live another day. Maybe her violin skills can help her to do that very thing?

Fig.1: Cover of Music for Tigers (2020) by Michelle Kadarusman.

This book published by Pajama Press in Toronto, focusing on themes of friendship, family, and environmentalism, was a nominee for the Silver Birch Forest of Reading Program in 2021.

If you have a young one in your life who is interested in biodiversity, ecology, and preservation, be sure to come to the library and borrow Music for Tigers. Here at the library, we're sure they will enjoy reading it!

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