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The Time Traveller and the Tiger

Book Synopsis

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.

Our Review Panel says...

Eleven year old Elsie leads an unremarkable life; overshadowed by everyone and everything around her. In her daydreams and the stories which she writes though, she is Kelsie Corvette- a brilliant adventurer who can turn her hand to anything and who dazzles anyone she meets. During the summer holidays, Elsie finds herself being sent to stay with her ancient Great Uncle for what she anticipates will be an extraordinarily boring week. Then, she meets the tiger in his spare room.

It’s a tiger skin to be exact and Elsie’s great uncle explains his great regret at shooting it whilst living in colonial India as a boy. His love of India is shown by the greenhouse in which he grows many exotic plants from his childhood home. Elsie is captivated by an empty pot, which soon transports her to India in I946. Upon meeting the child version of her great uncle, Elsie realises that her mission is to stop him from shooting the tiger- the act which has brought him so much sadness. So Elsie introduces herself as Kelsie and seizes the chance to live the life of her alter ego. In her adventure with John, she faces great danger and adversity through the challenges of the Indian jungle and the encounter of a particularly deadly hunter named Sowerby. 

The Time Traveller and The Tiger provides an excellent adventure story and also opportunities to discuss themes including endangered animals, hunting, the treatment of the natives of the British Colonies and attitudes towards women in the 1940s.

Read our guest blog post from the author to find out more about the background of the story.

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The Time Traveller and the Tiger: Teacher Notes

A resource pack provided by the publisher to accompany the book The Time Traveller and the Tiger.

The Time Traveller and the Tiger

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