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The Tiger Rising
The Tiger Rising
Author: Kate DiCamillo
From the best-selling author of Because of Winn-Dixie comes the moving story of an eleven-year-old-boy, Rob Horton, who finds a caged tiger in the woods behind the hotel where he lives with his father. With the help of his new friend, Sistine Bailey, Rob must decide what to do with his discovery and at the same time come to terms with his past.
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ISBN-13: 9780763618988
ISBN-10: 0763618985
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 128
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Rating:
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 62

3.7 stars, based on 62 ratings
Publisher: Candlewick
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Tiger Rising on + 164 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I have to say this was not really my thing. The whole time I was reading it I kept thinking yup, this is exactly the sort of thing adults would get all excited to push on elementary school students (Oh, the symbolism! The emotional progression!), but as a child I would have hated it. I would have come away thinking that the book started bleak, had little story, stayed pretty darn bleak, and nothing good survived. Guess I was more of a Little House and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory kind of kid.
ophelia99 avatar reviewed The Tiger Rising on + 2527 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is the third DiCamillo book I have read. I really enjoyed both "The Magician's Elephant" and "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane". I liked this book too, although not as much as the others of hers that I have read.

Rob Horton's mom died and then his dad decided they should move to Florida, where they currently reside in the Kentucky Derby Star Motel. Rob has a perpetual rash on his legs, and is constantly being beat up by the boys at school. His gloomy life changes when two things happen; first he finds a tiger caged in the woods and second he meets a girl called Sistine.

This is more of a novella than an actual full-length novel. It is not as magical or atmospheric as the other two DiCamillo novels I have read. DiCamillo does do a good job capturing how it feels for a young boy to be sad and alone.

The majority of this book deals with children trying to cope with strong emotions. Rob is perpetually sad because of his mom's death and his dad won't let Rob talk about it. Sistine is perpetually angry at the world because of her dad cheating on her mom. Somehow Rob and Sistine strike an odd friendship that focuses around this tiger they find in the woods.

The tiger is more of a symbol than anything in the story. In the end Rob and Sistine both find ways to cope with their emotions through events that happen with the tiger. The book is more of a fable from this aspect.

I love DiCamillo's writing style. This book does a very good job of showing children the right and wrong way to cope with sadness and anger. It would be a good story for younger children. Not my favorite of DiCamillo's though. I would definitely check out one of her other novels if you are a first time DiCamillo reader.
ashultz avatar reviewed The Tiger Rising on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a wonderful story - I really enjoyed it - but I would have waited to read it to my 7 year old daughter until she was a little older had I know the themes of the book would be so mature. DiCamillo writes about real raw life and the kids who live it. In this story she covers the painful loss of a parent, the temptation to stuff all that emotion, friendship and love, and the way adults fail children. All in one little book! Really powerful story for a young adult audience.

DiCamillo's other stories are great as well. The Tale of Despereaux is a beautiful story. Then Edward Tulane which is a little more heavy/adult themed, but still sad and beautiful and thought provoking.
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knittymama avatar reviewed The Tiger Rising on + 424 more book reviews
I thought this book was great. It was full of powerful emotions that were done beautifully by Dicamillo, while still keeping it youthful and sweet. The story never condescended to the child reader. The book was read by an outstanding actor. Loved it--both myself and my 9 year old son!
reviewed The Tiger Rising on + 12 more book reviews
Beatifully written
reviewed The Tiger Rising on + 3352 more book reviews
A can't-put-it-down read for the whole family.
l3rookeLuvsl3ooks avatar reviewed The Tiger Rising on + 60 more book reviews
This good book by DiCamillo is not her best, but it is, nonetheless, inspiring and transformative.
reviewed The Tiger Rising on + 1432 more book reviews
Tiger is about a twelve year old boy named Rob who lives with his father in a bleak Florida motel following his mom's death. Sad but talented, he meets a girl names Sistine with an attitude that doesn't stop. Like him, she is unhappy but they become friends. His mother had cancer so he keeps his emotions inside, has a blistering skin condition and suffers school bullying. Sistine seems to be angry just about everything but tries to get him to air his feelings. Surprisingly, Rob finds that it's easier than he thought to talk to her.

He shares his discovery of a tiger that seems to have magically appeared in woods behind the motel. She wants to set it free. Rob is not sure. Read the book to discover what they decide to do and what happens to it.

All in all this is a delightful story with delightful writing that flows like a melody. The characters are well developed, including wise and warmhearted Willie May. It's a blending of friendship, grief, and loss to create a wonderful story. For me, this author time and again touches my heart with upbeat and imaginative tales that spin from her mind.
reviewed The Tiger Rising on + 3 more book reviews
Found this author from a review for first adult book. NYTimes reviewer highly recommended her YA books so I thought I would try one. Loved this small book. Perfect read for quarantine. Will keep looking for her other YA books.

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