Fish: a Novel
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this engrossing, uplifting story of survival could be used to discuss the costs of war, humanitarian aid workers, and refugees in nearly any conflict on earth.
What's the story?
Tiger's parents are aid workers in an unspecified war- and drought-ravaged country. Now, with the fighting moving into their area and the people they were helping all gone, they must flee on foot across drought-parched mountains to try to cross a closed border.
Just before they leave, Tiger finds a fish, miraculously still alive, in a drying puddle. They put the fish in a pot with a bit of their remaining fresh water, and set out on their trek, led by the Guide and a donkey. Along the way they encounter hardship, privations, and soldiers, but Tiger is determined to keep the fish alive until they reach their destination.
Is it any good?
With many layers of symbolism, this engrossing, uplifting survival story by a first-time author lingers in the mind long after the ending, and makes for a terrific discussion-group selection. It's interesting that Tiger's gender, race, and even the country and continent in which the story takes place are never mentioned; Tiger is Everychild, in everyplace where conflict and hardship are endemic.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how Tiger copes with his family's circumstances. How does he make the best of the situation? How does he learn to help others less fortunate than him?