In this gripping story, two young girls survive in the Tasmanian bush after Tasmanian tigers adopt them.
When Hannah O’Brien’s 6, her parents take her and her friend Becky on a river picnic, where their boat is caught in a flash flood. Hannah’s parents drown, and the girls are washed ashore and rescued by a female tiger. Sensing the animal will not harm them, Hannah convinces Becky to follow the tiger to her cave, where her mate also accepts them. Viewing the tigers as “gentle dogs,” Hannah quickly becomes “one of them.” Initially horrified, Becky fears she will “become like an animal and stop being human,” but eventually, she forgets language, abandons clothing, hunts at night, eats raw meat, walks on all fours and views the tigers as parents. Four years later, Becky’s father finds the feral girls, who desperately fight to remain with their tiger family. Now 76, narrator Hannah tells her remarkable story, admitting “me language is bad cos I lost it and had to learn it again.” Her plain, direct speech movingly describes their transformation from human to animal, triggering profound questions about what happens when “flesh wins over…heart.”
A shocking, disturbing, extraordinary survival story. (Fiction. 12 & up)