Monday, August 22, 2011

The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

Walking through the misty Florida woods one morning, twelve-year-old Rob Horton is stunned to encounter a tiger - a real-life, very large tiger - pacing back and forth in a cage. What’s more, on the same extraordinary day, he meets Sistine Bailey, a girl who shows her feelings as readily as Rob hides his. As they learn to trust each other, and ultimately, to be friends, Rob and Sistine prove that some things - like memories, and heartaches, and tigers - can’t be locked up forever.

Rob, who passes the time in his rural Florida community by wood carving, is drawn by his spunky but angry friend Sistine into a plan to free a caged tiger.

My thoughts:
More than being about the tiger found in the woods, this is a story about how we all lock things away inside of ourselves instead of dealing with them.  Feelings of loss, anger, hopelessness, despair, and more can be buried deep inside of us.  By keeping things inside we are stopping ourselves from living our current lives fully by trapping us in the past.

Rob and his father are going through the motions every day since the death of his mother, but neither of them is really living.  Sistine is angry with the whole world instead of directing her anger towards her father who is most deserving of her anger.

Sometimes we need to let things out, which can be painful and scary, so we can deal with them and move forward. 

•Pub. Date: August 2002
•Publisher: Candlewick Press
•Format: Paperback , 128pp
•Age Range: 12 and up
•ISBN-13: 9780763618988
•ISBN: 0763618985

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