A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

English / Australia

Tiger stone

Mansell, Deryn (text)
Newtown, NSW: Black dog books, 2014. –
262 p.
ISBN 978-1-742032-39-9

Java / 14th century – Refugee – Identity – Temple treasure – Political intrigue 

Debut author Deryn Mansell first travelled to Java when she was seventeen and has been fascinated by its rich history ever since. One of her aims is to arouse more interest in Indonesian culture and language – and her adventure story is the perfect tool for it. Filled with a sense of mystery and the supernatural, the book plunges readers into the fourteenth century, a time when Java is torn apart due to a political intrigue between its two rivalling kingdoms. Young Kancil and her mother are forced to seek refuge in a tiny Majapahit village. To hide her Sunda origins, the fourteen-year-old girl has to remain mute while she works as a lowly kitchen maid for her important uncle. When she learns of a plot to destroy the village, she enlists the help of her only friend, the mysterious kitchen boy. Interspersed with Indonesian terms, which are explained in a glossary at the back, the third-person narration creates an authentic atmosphere that easily captures the attention of young readers. (Age: 11+)