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The Tiger Rising Hardcover – March 1, 2001

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Hardcover, March 1, 2001
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 520L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1st U.S. ed edition (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763609110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763609115
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,185,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Kate DiCamillo's first novel Because of Winn-Dixie won a Newbery Honor in 2000 for the no-nonsense charm and wisdom of its down-home young heroine, Opal. Also set in Florida, The Tiger Rising is more of a short story in scope, the tale of 12-year-old Rob Horton who finds a caged tiger in the woods behind the Kentucky Star Motel where he lives with his dad. The tiger is so incongruous in this setting, Rob views the apparition as some sort of magic trick. Indeed, the tiger triggers all sorts of magic in Rob's life--for one thing, it takes his mind off his recently deceased mother and the itchy red blisters on his legs that the wise motel housekeeper, Willie May, says is a manifestation of the sadness that Rob keeps "down low."

Something else for Rob to think about is Sistine (as in the chapel), a new city girl with fierce black eyes who challenges him to be honest with her and himself. Spurred by the tiger, events collide to break Rob out of his silent introspection, to form a new friendship with Sistine, a new understanding with his father, and most important, to lighten his heart. This novel is about cages--the consequences of escape as well as imprisonment. The story and symbolism are clear as a bell, and the emotions ring true. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson

From Publishers Weekly

DiCamillo's second novel may not be as humorous as her debut, Because of Winn-Dixie, but it is just as carefully structured, and her ear is just as finely tuned to her characters. In the first chapter, readers learn that Rob lost his mother six months ago; his father has uprooted their lives from Jacksonville to Lister, Fla.; the boy hates school; and his father's boss, Beauchamp, is keeping a caged wild tiger at Beauchamp's abandoned gas station. The author characterizes Rob by what he does not do ("Rob had a way of not-thinking about things"; "He was a pro at not-crying"), and the imprisoned tiger becomes a metaphor for the thoughts and feelings he keeps trapped inside. Two other characters, together with the tiger, act as catalyst for Rob's change: a new classmate, Sistine ("like the chapel"), who believes that her father will rescue her someday and take her back to Pennsylvania, and Willie May, a wise and compassionate woman who works as a chambermaid at Beauchamp's hotel. The author delves deeply into the psyches of her cast with carefully choreographed scenes, opting for the economy of poetry over elaborate prose. The climax is sudden and brief, mimicking the surge of emotion that overtakes Rob, who can finally embrace life rather than negate it. DiCamillo demonstrates her versatility by treating themes similar to those of her first novel with a completely different approach. Readers will eagerly anticipate her next work. Ages 10-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Kate DiCamillo is the author of The Magician's Elephant, a New York Times bestseller; The Tale of Despereaux, which was awarded the Newbery Medal; Because of Winn-Dixie, a Newbery Honor book; and six books starring Mercy Watson, including the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride. She lives in Minneapolis.

Customer Reviews

Thank you Kate DiCamillo.
I didn't like the ending of the story; it seemed like nothing was resolved and everyone was still unhappy.
A. Luciano
The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo is one of the best books I've ever read.
Shawna J. Hansen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Hannam on August 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
All too often Children's books are filled with unoriginal, stock plots and characters who fulfill a role rather than instill a purpose or inspire their readers. The Tiger Rising is just the opposite. Dicamillo is an exquisite writer, who is able to probe and understand the thoughts of young readers and the problems they face.

The Tiger Rising is a book for all ages. The main character, Rob Horton, is an outcast at school, his mother has died, and he lives in a hotel, in Florida, with his father. One day he stumbles upon a tiger locked in a cage in the forest behind is motel. He later befriends a girl named sistine, who is in dire need of friendship, as is Rob, and the two are faced with many life problems throughout the story.

This is a story which strikes the very human condition of freedom, loss, hope, and most importantly friendship. Dicamillo is on top of her game with a story which will ring true to everyone who reads it.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Sheila Monk on April 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
An adult reader, I had just finished reading a news story of the young shooter at Santana High School when I opened Kate's Tiger Rising. I was struck by the similarities of that young shooter and Kate's Rob: They were similar in age and each had moved to a new school, where each encountered taunts and ridicule; each had a emotionally distant father and a physically absent mother; each household held guns; each boy kept much pain deep inside. Where the shooter's friendships offered too little, Rob was blessed with a powerful friendship through which he healed himself and perhaps his father as well.
This story has haunted me ever since.Yes, it's a darker tale than Di Camillo's Winn Dixie, but still hopeful and a testament to the kind of friendship we would wish for all our children.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
In the book The Tiger Rising a boy named Rob Horton is just getting adapted to the new changes that has been happening in his life. Rob has been lonely ever since he has moved to a new town and when his mom pasted away. All Rob really wants is a friend or two, but instead he keeps getting bullied.
I really liked this book because it was really about his friendship with a girl named Sistine Bailey. When Rob made a friend, Sistine was a good friend because they were always going on adventures and doing other things.
The author of this book wrote it with great detail. There is so much detail that it feels like I am with the characters. That is why detail is important in this book. By having detail it makes the characters come to life.
I recommend this book because it is every thing I said, and more. It has good friendships,adventures, great detail, and much more.
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42 of 55 people found the following review helpful By D. Collier on July 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
I must confess that I was really not all that impressed with this book. It was little more than a nice children's story with pretty good character development, but it seems that the author was not interested in developing the story more. She also could have done a much better job of explaining the character Beauchamp (the antagonist).
I thought that the illustration of Rob's (the main character) emotions being locked inside a psychological suitcase, though initially creative, soon became over-used, worn out, and emotionally manipulative.
The book does have a few things going for it (hence, the two stars). Probably the main thing in its favor is the story of how Rob overcomes his grief and unhappiness through helping his friends. However, this is the second book in a row by this author to have such a story. And this is, in fact, the second book by this author. The first was BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE. The themes were very similar, as were the characters, except that in WINN-DIXIE, they were far more interesting, and the story was much better developed.
I look forward with eager anticipation to what Mrs. DiCamillo's next book will be like (I believe it will be available in late 2003), because, having read WINN-DIXIE, I know she can write much better than TIGER RISING. Another fantastic alternative (with similar themes) is BRIDGE TO TEREBITHIA by Katherine Paterson. It is also easy reading without taking away from the complexities of the characters or the captivation of the plot.
On one last point, having read several Amazon reviews before reading the book, I was very disappointed to read the outcome of the story which one reviewer had put in his review (without any warning to the reader whatsoever). I wish reviewers would have a little more consideration for people who have not yet read the book. The purpose of reviews is to inform those who may wish to purchase the product, not to destroy their enjoyment of it.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
This was a well-crafted book in many ways, and a flawed piece of literature in many others. I've rarely read such an honest acceptance of the ways kids act at school. Moreover, the realistic ways in which Rob, the protagonist, and Sistine, his new friend, deal with grief is fantastic. Most characterizations were right on the money. Though seen only briefly, I loved the portrayal of Sistine's mother. I've met women like that. Unfortunately, DiCamillo falls into a trap so many writers and screenwriters have fallen into before. She has inserted "the magical black friend" found in many a modern text. Such characters usually don't show any weaknesses (or if they do they're either vaguely eluded to or not their own fault) and serve simply as enormous founts of wisdom and patience. While the character of Willie May does come right out and say that she is not a prophetess, she may as well be. She's never wrong and she serves the infuriating purpose of showing the white people how to work through their emotions. And while I like that DiCamillo even had a black person in the book, one with a little more complexity beyond serving the plot would have been nice. The book is rather similar to "Bridge to Terabithia", in terms of a new girl opening a boy's eyes to a world of possibilities. Recommended with reservations.
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