The Tiger Rising
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2004
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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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2001
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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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
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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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2003
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2011
Have you ever liked a book so much you can't put it down? You will if you read The Tiger Rising by, Kate DiCamillo! The Tiger Rising is about a boy named Rob Horton who lives in Florida and who has a rash of sadness on his legs. He finds a tiger in the woods and tells Sistine about it. Will they let the tiger go? If so how will they do it?
I liked this book because it has interesting parts like when Rob finds the tiger. But it was sad because one of the main characters loses its life. It also helps you make good mental movies like picturing Rob, who in my head looks medium sized with dark hair and a rash on his legs. The Tiger Rising was very interesting like when Rob meets Beauxchamp. That is why you should read The Tiger Rising by, Kate DiCamillo.
My recommendation is this book is for 3rd graders and up! This book is not a pushover!

By, Will age 9, Jacksonville, FL
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45 of 59 people found the following review helpful
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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2002
The Tiger Rising is a really GREAT book!!!! It's about this boy named Rob Horton who's mother died and now he and his dad live in a hotel called The Kentucky Star, even though the setting is in Florida. Rob and his father have no phone and eat Macaroni & Cheese every night. Rob has a diease in his legs that make them itch like CRAZY!!! Rob's only real friend isn't even a kid. The maid of the hotel, Willie May, is always telling Rob that the problem with his legs is that Rob never lets the saddness come out. She says it stays down at the bottom of him, down by his legs, and never gives it a chance to come out. Rob never cries. Ever since his mother died, Rob has never cried. He cried at his mother's funeral, but his father told him to suck it up, that there was no need in crying, that crying was for sissies. Ever since that unforgettable moment on that unforgettable day, Rob has imagined himself as a suitcase, locked up tight, never letting anything get out.
Rob gets picked on at school. The 2 bullies call hum "Diease Boy" and "Cootie Kid". He never stands up to them though. He just lets them tease him until they get tired and eventually leave. But one day a new girl gets on the bus. She was wearing a pink and frilly dress. No one at Rob's school wears pink and frilly dresses. When Rob next sees Sistine (the girl) her dress has a hint of blood on it, a torn shoulder puff, and a girl with a black eye and a few bruises wearing it.
Sitting on the bus after school that day, Sistine plops down next to Rob. She tells Rob about her father who is supposed to come and get her in a couple if weeks. She says she hates it in Florida. She says she hates her mother too. Then she notices Rob's legs. She asks Rob if it is contagious and, without waiting for a reply, rubs her hands violently up and down Rob's legs. Rob finally works up enogh courage to open his suitcase up a little peep and tell Sistine about the tiger he found caged up earlier that day. Sistine says they HAVE to set it free no sooner had the words come out of Rob's mouth. He's scared to lrt the tiger free because he knows it owned by the owner of the hotel and Rob doesn't want his dad to lose his job as all-around good-guy and handy man. Should Rob let the tiger go, in hopes of finding a new friend? Or stay a coward all his life?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2002
This book totally engrossed my students. I read this short story aloud in five days; the children wouldn't let me put the book down. Not only did they listen to the story, but the students were quick to make predictions, compare this novel to Because of Winn Dixie and the craft of Cynthia Rylant. They loved the story, character, plot and narration. Of course, I read this book at the end of the year, and after we had read Because of Winn Dixie and The Van Gogh Cafe.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2005
This is a very emotional book. The characters are believable and the plot a bit out there, but not impossible. I am a tiger lover, and that is one of the main reasons I bought this book.

Please don't buy this book only because you too are a tiger lover. Buy this book because it tells the story of the pain of losing something you love, it tells the story of a child coming out from his hiding place and facing the world. Buy this book because it is a wonderful, awe inspiring, sad book.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2008
This book is well written and thought provoking, but it confronts readers with hard cold facets of emotional issues. Author is an excellent writer, however the subject matter and character depictions are heart-wrenching. Perhaps a 15 year old .... may be able to handle this. I realize that we live in a different world today than when I was a kid. The subject matter deals with death and loss, on a plethora of levels. I believe we can teach our children prayerfully in a gentler way. No doubt author is a great writer, but I suggest parents read this book first before giving to your children.
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