BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: Tiger Skin Rug (available here)
Author: Joan Haig
Publication Date: February 2020
Most suitable for: KS2
A unique and atmospheric middle-grade fantasy adventure exploring themes of family and what it means to find a home. Tiger Skin Rug is a page-turning adventure set between Scotland and India, with a sprinkle of magic based around an old tiger skin rug that transforms into a magic carpet.
Lal Patel and his family have just moved to Scotland from their Indian home. Within three days, despite trawling around three Scottish castles (seen one – seen them all), Lal is not sure that he will ever acclimatize to the culture here, especially with the endless drizzle. Worse still, their new home, Graystanes, is a world away from the slick city apartments Lal was expecting, offering instead a bungalow with dusty furnishings passed on from its previous elderly resident. Real home, thinks Lal, was back in India – lush and green with its modern housing compound, his familiar mango tree, beloved cricket fields and his best friend Ajay. Graystanes, on the other hand, is creepy, dim, lifeless and ‘wrong, wrong, wrong.’
There’s nothing that sharpens someone’s perspective on life like a good and proper adventure, and that’s exactly what’s in store for Lal (along with his brother Dilip and new friend Jenny), as the old tiger skin rug from the house unexpectedly leaps to life with its own tale to tell. The tiger has a promise to fulfil and offers to take Lal and his friends home in return for their help. A thrilling, child-led adventure across continents follows, leading Lal to reconsider what it really means to be home.
There’s something timelessly appealing about magic carpet adventures. This one is a quick read – less than 200 pages in total – with a measure of Indian cultural heritage that gives depth and added interest. With themes of hope, displacement, forgiveness and justice being explored through Lal’s story, this is likely to be a hit with children in modern KS2 classrooms.
Many thanks to the publishers at Cranachan for sending us a review copy.
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