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Book Synopsis

‘There are three doors that I may show you. You will find a different kind of power behind each one…’

Adam has found something incredible in a rubbish dump in London. A mysterious, mythical, magical animal. A TYGER.

And the tyger is in danger.

Adam and his friend Zadie are determined to help, but it isn’t just the tyger’s life at stake. Their whole world is on the verge of destruction. Can they learn to use their powers before it’s too late?

Our Review Panel says...

If you’ve spent any time on edutwitter or children’s booktok lately, you might know that SF Said’s Tyger has been one of the most hotly anticipated titles due this Autumn. It’s a fine thing when a children’s book generates a huge buzz in the months building up to publication, and this one certainly did – after all, with a well-loved author, an early drop of signed proofs, a beautiful cover by Dave McKean and just enough intrigue in the blurb to make you sit up and wonder, how could it not? Even better is when a book like this manages to really live up to the excitement generated. Did this one deliver? We are pleased to say it did.

This is an atmospheric story set in an alternative near-future London. The city is a dangerous place for many, dominated by strict social rules, a system of racial superiority and un-abolished slavery that developed from colonialism. In this London, Adam and Zadie are both children who have been made to feel like outsiders. The story centres on their discovery of a mythical creature – a Tyger who is hiding after being hunted and wounded. Adam helps the injured Tyger and a friendship blossoms. Soon, the Tyger teaches Adam a renewed philosophical outlook on life and helps him to tap into his hidden gifts. The children set about to protect and save the Tyger, and as fear and oppression rage in the city of London, the children’s courage to save the Tyger makes wider ripples than they could ever imagine.

There’s something timelessly alluring about tigers in children’s books, especially those that have time to sit down and talk with you. This Tyger has a mystical quality that will no doubt entice and intrigue young readers anew. Adult readers familiar with the work of William Blake won’t fail to notice the allusions to Blakean mythology that filter through text, illustrations and that striking cover. The Tyger in SF Said’s book offers Adam and Zadie something of the mystical and spiritual encounter that Blake hoped to offer his readers; a temporary liberation from the ‘mind-forged manacles’ of the material world and a hope-filled reminder of the power of human spirit.

SF Said’s fanbase will be thrilled to read this new adventure – laced with danger, edged with fantasy and packed to the core with thinking and discussion points that link to very real issues in society. Despite the serious themes explored, Said writes with optimism and hope, showing how joy and light can always be found in the darkest of times. This story will no doubt find a home in the hearts of Upper KS2 readers who love mythology, quest stories and an encouter with something deeper.

Reviewer: Alison Leach

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