Review of When The Mountains Roared by Jess Butterworth

by - April 24, 2018


Genres: Childrens, Mystery
Pages: 282
Publisher: Orion
Release Date: 05/04/2018
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(Received free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

I thought we'd live here forever. But then I thought Mum would be here forever too. 

When Ruby's dad uproots her from Australia to set up a hotel in the mountains of India, Ruby is devastated. Not only are they living in a run-down building in the middle of the wilderness surrounded by scorpions, bears and leopards, but Ruby is sure that India will never truly feel like home - not without her mum there.

Ever since her mum died, Ruby has been afraid. Of cars. Of the dark. Of going to sleep and never waking up. But then the last remaining leopards of the mountain are threatened and everything changes. Ruby vows to do all she can to protect them - if she can only overcome her fears... 


I'm trying to read books with different cultures this year, because I'm tired of being an English-person stuck in America where all the main characters are white and middle class. This one is a children's book set in India and is a fantastic introduction to Indian culture for anyone wanting to learn more about it. The author has used her own experiences in life and written them into Ruby's story, creating vivid characters and a great mystery.

There's some great themes here - a love of animals, poaching, respect of other cultures and loss of a parent. Ruby travels with her Dad to live in the Indian mountains, running a direlict hotel that the locals shy away from. Greiving the death of her mother and a move to another country would take it's toll on anyone and we see glimpses of that from flashbacks that Ruby has.

Poaching is the main theme and it's devastating effects on the environment. When Ruby discovers that the owners of the hotel are up to something, she enlists her new friend Paveen and her Grandmother to help her investigate, discovering more about her new home of India along the way. I do wish that we had learnt more about Ruby's home of Australia, as it wasn't mentioned that much.

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