Debut children’s novel highlights threats to tigers

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A Seaford writer’s debut children’s novel highlights the real threats to wild tigers from poaching and other pressures on their jungle homes.

‘Global Gang and the Land of the Tiger’ by Patricia Martin is an exciting adventure story featuring five young wildlife lovers from around the world – including Tamsin , 13, from Seaford – who ‘meet’ on the Internet and form a chat group dubbed ‘Global Gang.’

When their Indian friend invites them on a tiger safari, they meet in person in India. But soon, disaster strikes. Lost in the jungle, they find themselves in danger from tigers and from ruthless poachers who prey on these magnificent animals. Back home in Seaford, Tamsin’s arch-enemy plots to oust her from the tiger role in their school’s new musical, ‘Wild Cats’ – with frightening consequences.

The musical is a key part of the plot involving some surprising real life celebrities, including pop duo The Rizzle Kicks from Brighton.

Although set mainly in India and London, the story returns frequently to Seaford and the final chapter is set at Hope Beach overlooking the Seven Sisters cliffs. Along the way, readers experience India’s amazing capital city, Delhi, and the white-hot countryside of Rajhasthan, where wild tigers roam.

Patricia said: “Although I love many children’s novels set in imaginary worlds, my travels inspired me to write about the magic and wonder of the real world. I was also inspired to write for children by my two grandsons when they were younger, to encourage them to read. Sadly, I have never seen a wild tiger and am too unwell to travel now. I knew tigers were a highly endangered species but was shocked to learn, a few years ago, that there were only around 1,500 tigers left in the whole of India, and as few as 3,500 in the world. Since then numbers in India have risen to 2,200, but there is a long way to go to secure their future.”

Patricia lives in Fairways Road with her husband, local poet Peter Martin. They own a beach hut on Seaford Promenade where some of her novel was written.

A trained journalist, Patricia worked for 20 years as media officer for three charities – WWF-UK, Oxfam and Christian Aid – and visited projects around the world, including in India, Brazil and Ethiopia to raise funds and awareness. All profits from sales of the book will be donated to wild tiger conservation.

The novel is aimed at 11 to 14-year-olds but is of interest to older teenagers and adults.

The novel is available from Sussex Stationers, Broad Street, Seaford, and from The Cuckmere Emporium, Alfriston, price £6.99. For more information, contact Seafcroft Arts, email redfox.martin@btinernet.com.

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