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Tears of a Tiger Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A high school basketball star struggles with guilt and depression following the drunk-driving accident that killed his best friend. Short chapters and alternating viewpoints provide "raw energy and intense emotion," said PW. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up?A hard-hitting story of the unraveling of a young black man who was the drunk driver in an accident that killed his best friend. Andy cannot bear his guilt or reach out for help, and chapter by chapter his disintegration builds to inevitable suicide. Counselors, coaches, friends, and family all fail him. The story is artfully told through English class assignments, including poetry; dialogues; police and newspaper reports; and letters. From time to time, the author veers off into overt lessons on racial issues, but aside from this flaw the characters' voices are strong, vivid, and ring true. This moving novel will leave a deep impression.?Kathy Fritts, Jesuit High School, Portland, OR
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 700L (What's this?)
  • Series: Hazelwood High Trilogy (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (February 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689806981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689806988
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (413 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sharon Draper is a two-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning author, most recently for Copper Sun, and previously for Forged by Fire. She's also the recipient of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Author Award for New Talent for Tears of a Tiger and the Coretta Scott King Author Honor for The Battle of Jericho and November Blues. Her other books include Romiette and Julio, Darkness Before Dawn, and Double Dutch. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she taught high school English for twenty-five years. She's a popular conference speaker, addressing educational and literary groups both nationally and internationally.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

134 of 144 people found the following review helpful By Beverly on August 28, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a junior high school English teacher, I am always on the lookout for a good YA novel to teach to my students or to recommend that they read individually. When I heard of Tears of a Tiger, I had high hopes that it would be everything that I look for in a YA novel. First of all, I liked the fact that the main characters were African-American. I teach a large portion of African-American students, and I have a lot of trouble finding a YA novel in which African-Americans are the central characters (are you listening, YA authors?). Second, I absolutely loved the differing points of view style that the book is written in. The way that the characters are developed through conversation, letters, poems, essays, and so on is one of the best that I have read. This is a great teaching tool alone, not to mention a super way of telling the story. Third, the event that is the catalyst for the plot, the underage drinking and driving, is realistic and teaches a great lesson to teenagers. Given my glowing praise, you may wonder, why not five stars? The simple fact is that Andy's suicide destroyed the book for me. The whole plot of the book seemed to be leading to Andy's coming to grips with the death of his friend. I was thinking: what a great way to show kids that there are other alternatives than killing oneself to work through problems. Then, the suicide note and he is dead. This is not a good message to send to youth. While a mature young adult can read and understand this book the way that the author probably meant it to be read, this is not a YA book for the masses. In good conscience, I cannot teach a book to kids who have enough disturbing messages thrown at them from all sources on a daily basis as it is.Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Tears of a Tiger Book Review
Happy-go-lucky teenage boys, play basketball and party; figure out how fast all that can change. Andrew(also known as Andy) Jackson, a basketball player who has his license, and his girlfriend Keisha, have been going steady for a few months. Andy's friends Robbie Washington, B.J. Carson, and Tyrone Mills, all go to the Hazelwood High School together, and have been friends for years. Robbie, Tyrone and Andy are party animals, while B.J. is more down-to-earth and passive. One night the boys decide to get a six-pack and have one of their usual "late-night rituals" together. Andy is the driver and has been drinking, and Robbie has his feet up, dangerously on the dashboard. Carelessly drunk and still driving, the boys head out on the highway, where later they hit a wall and helplessly watch Robbie burn to death in the car. There was nothing the boys could do to get him out of the car, but Andy still blames himself, because he was driving. Andy goes deeper, and deeper into depression, and loses his girlfriend Keisha through his anger and crying. He even sees a counselor, and his friends think he is fine. All that smile and charm is hidden behind a crying mask, and his friends can't reach out to help him. But even a counselor couldn't help his friends through the tragedy they were going to face....in the future. Sharon M. Draper has put together many books like this one, to help young adults through problems that they will face, in their teen years. The book, she hopes, will teach young readers to deal with their problems and to stay away from drugs, alcohol, and suicide. This book is a mix of drama, action, and slight horror.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By 9th grader on January 17, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book, Tears of a Tiger, was published in 1994 by Simon Pulse. There are 180 pages in Tears of a Tiger. I think that this book is for grades 9th and up, because it has a grown up plot and it's for teenagers. This book is fiction. It is about these boys who are friends and play basketball on their high school team. One of the boy dies and his best friend says it's his fault. The main characters are Andy, Gerald, Rob, Kesisha, BJ, Tyrone, Rhonda, Monty, and Dr.Carrothers. I would have to give this book 5 stars. The first time I saw this book I thought it looked like it would be a dumb book! But then, all my friends said it was good and they all read it. So, I said, " what the heck-I'll read it." So I read it and I loved it. Now I'm reading the next book in the series Forged by Fire. I really like this one, too.

This book Tears of a Tiger is a story about Rob and Andy. Rob died in a car crash one night after a basketball game that their team won. They were celebrating and Andy was drinking and driving. He wrecked in his car and killed Rob. Now, Andy is blaming himself for the whole thing. Andy is the saddest because he was driving the car when his best friend was killed. The rest of the book is about everyone trying to help Andy overcome this death. His parents send him to a psychologist. All the other kids except Andy find a way to deal with Rob's death . Will Andy ever get over this experience or will it take over his whole life? Read this book to find out!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jay Horne on February 12, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Tears of a Tiger is a book about a 17 -year-old boy named Andy,who is having a lot of trouble getting over the death of his best friend,Rob. After winning big at a school basketball game,they choose to celebrate it the wrong way,drinking and driving.
Andy's friends,who were also involved in the accident,tried to help Andy cope with this devestating,unfortunate accident. Though as time rolls on,Andy is secretly taking the incident harder than anyone could imagine.
Things really start to turn sour when Andy's girlfriend,Kiesha,breakes up with him. As far as Andy is concerned,Kiesha is the only person that he could really turn to. So you could problably speculate how Andy felt when that happened.
I did not enjoy this book in some ways.I am mainly speaking of the fact that nearly everything had a downside. That really makes you think though,because when you look at life,you see that there is a flaw in everything. That is what makes this book really have alot of the reality in it.
Even though,for the most part, I really did enjoy this book,and recommend it for anyone who likes books that have alot of reality hooked up in them. Because,if you really think about it,anyone could end up in the position that Andy,his friends,his family,and his school wre placed in.
I would definately rate this book five stars,for the way that it touches your heart,and the way it tells everyone who reads it,to never,in any situation drink and drive.Not only are you mentally unstable,but you can cause so many others so much pain in one solitary split second.
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