Running From the Tiger – Aleesah Darlison



Empowering Resources

September 2016

ISBN 9780994501066

RRP $15.00

Empowering Resources is an independent publishing company dedicated to informing, discussing and enabling both children and adults to engage in ‘meaningful dialogue’ about important social issues.

Aleesah Darlison is an award-winning author (and resident of the beautiful Sunshine Coast!) who is unafraid to tackle topics which will raise awareness and be thought-provoking reads.

Domestic abuse is one of those issues which is so prevalent in our society that it is completely frightening and it is no wonder that so many voices are being raised to address this insidious and often fatal flaw in our so-called civilised modern world.

Running from the Tiger is a powerful and purposeful combination of author’s voice and topical problem which could be shared, with caution, with any person trapped in a cycle of abuse.

Eleven year old Ebony is the oldest of three girls. Mum is expecting another baby and Dad, who does not deserve that appellation is a misogynistic drunken no-hoper who takes his inadequacies out on his family. In particular, Ebony cops the brunt of his physical and mental abuse.  Isolated from true friendship and with no one to share her frightening home life (her mother being totally ineffectual) Ebony suffers in silence.

But when new girl Teena arrives at their small country school, Ebony finds her first real friend. Both girls have secrets and both girls discover in each other strength which grows as their trust and friendship deepens.

Aside from the actual violence of Ebony’s father, a disturbing thing is the fact that to her community this ongoing abuse is invisible. Even those who might suspect – or indeed, Teena’s father who confirms her tragic circumstances – do nothing to help her. Having experienced this type of situation first-hand I would urge anyone who suspects that something may be amiss with a child or even adult should report their concerns to appropriate agencies.

With Teena’s support Ebony begins to find her voice and resilience to stop her father. I would have liked to see him hauled away to some kind of Azkaban personally.

This is realistic fiction at its grittiest and most confronting. I suggest that this be reserved for senior primary students and be prepared to debrief if necessary.  I can certainly see it being used by guidance officers for children who are coming to terms with such home situations and in need of extra affirmation that sometimes standing up for yourself is the only way.

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