Tiger Heart by Penny Chrimes
From the first line in Penny Chrimes' Tiger Heart you feel as if you have been whisked away into a classic fairytale with all the key elements – the magic, the emotion, the adventure – but this time with a twist, the ‘damsel in distress’ is actually a caged tiger and the ‘knight in shining armour’ is a chimney sweep called Fly, a savvy lass from the streets of London.
All Fly has ever known is life as a ‘gutterling’, living by her wits, sneaking scraps, always under the wrathful watch of her keeper, Black Bill. One day, as she hides from him, Fly finds herself in a tiger’s cage about to become his next meal, but as the tiger licks her bloody elbow, he stops and instead announces ‘You have blue blood – royal blood – in your veins’, then bows and calls her ‘Your Majesty’. Nothing could have been more surprising, even the fact that the tiger was talking, which for some reason Fly always knew he could.
So begins this beautifully written middle fiction debut, a story about discovering your purpose and the true meaning of freedom. Perfect for fans of Katherine Applegate or Kate DiCamillo, it will keep you enthralled till the last page. Recommended for ages 10+.