The Tiger Rising

by Kate DiCamillo

Paperback, 2002



Local notes





Scholastic (2002), 116 pages


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.


Original publication date


Physical description

116 p.; 7.4 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member Whisper1
This is a small book that packs a great deal of whallop! It is beautifully written and filled with symbolic images.

Twelve year old Rob Horton is hurting. His mother died and his father refuses to discuss the loss. Moving from their previous home and living in a run down hotel where his father is
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the care taker is difficult.

Lacking emotional support, while pushing down the pain, Rob develops a nasty rash. He is ridiculed and beaten by class mates. He is tremendously vulnerable.

When a new girl arrives on the bus, she too is taunted and smacked around by the bullies. Sistine (named for the chapel) is spunky and spirited and unlike Rob, she fights back. Her reward for doing so is a torn dress and black and blue eyes.

Like Rob, Sistine is suffering from loss, though she is convinced that her father simply abandoned her mother and that he will be back to claim her.

When Rob finds a tiger in the woods, he shares the knowledge with Sistine. She immediately wants to release the wild animal. The tiger belongs to the owner of the hotel and letting him go might equate to Rob's father losing his job.

This is a poignantly written book that haunts me. I am in awe of DiCamillo's ability to accurately portray the loneliness of two children who desperately long to escape and rise above the pain.

highly recommended
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LibraryThing member Smiler69
A heartbreaking story about a young boy, Rob, who is amazed to discover a caged tiger in the middle of the woods close to the motel he's living at with his father. Rob has recently lost his mother to cancer, and ever since his father punished him for crying over her loss, Rob hasn't allowed himself
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to feel anything:

Rob had a way of not-thinking about things. He imagined himself as a suitcase that was too full, like the one that he had packed when they left Jacksonville after the funeral. He made all his feelings go inside the suitcase; he stuffed them in tight and then sat on the suitcase and locked it shut. That was the way he not-thought about things.

But on the same day that he makes this amazing discovery, he also meets Sistine (like the chapel), a young girl with a serious chip on her shoulder who inspires him—when she downright doesn't force him—to speak out. Sistine is adamant that the tiger must be set free, but Rob isn't so sure it's a good idea.
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LibraryThing member cc9
Pretentious, depressing, and chock full of Kate DiCamillo's trademark faux symbolism. Everything looks like it must be significant of something very important, it must have deeper meaning, but when you examine it closely it turns out there is nothing there and no real meaning to any of the
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apparently meaningful things and events in the book.
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LibraryThing member afrusten
Rob is determined to find the tiger again, but when he gets Stine on his side, they become best friends. He shows her the tiger and knows he picked the right person to show it to.
LibraryThing member dominirose
After reading way too many "poignant [stories] of loss and redemption" I must admit, apart from the ending, I liked this one.
LibraryThing member AnneWelles
I love this book which makes you feel what it is like to be teased and do without many of the things most kids take forgranted.
I borrowed this book from Jandrea Warren at Tremont.
LibraryThing member michelleramos
This is a story of a little boy who has lost his mother and is living in a hotel, in a new city with his father. The boy has a horrible rash on his legs and a lot of emotions that he keeps closed up tight. He discovers a tiger that is caged in the woods and although he wants to set it free he
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doesn't want to let it go. He makes a wonderful friend and it is nice to see that friendship develop and grow.
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LibraryThing member morgantk
This is a wonderful literature circle book. I used it with my 5th grade students and we had great discussions about friendships and making choices. I just finished reading this book aloud to my 3rd graders. They really enjoyed the story. We had lots of good conversations about the characters and
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our connections with them.
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LibraryThing member justinscott66
Rob Horton is a complicated character in Kate DiCamillo's "The Tiger Rising." He 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 behind is motel. He later befriends a girl named Sistine. Throughout
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the book, the two challenge each other to face conflict and their own demons. The tiger is discovered in a cage, but really serves as a metaphor. This whole novel is about escaping and being imprisoned in personal and public cages.
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LibraryThing member saraluisa
A secret tiger in the woods changes Rob's and Sistine's lives after the two experience separate but equally devastating losses. In the few days this book takes place, we learn how it feels to hurt deeply, both quietly and outwardly, and how to come to terms with these emotions. DiCamillo
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ingeniously sets tone and mood with every word in this book. It is a quick read, but powerful and beautiful.
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LibraryThing member krau0098
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,
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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.
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LibraryThing member katie.harrel
Genre: realistic fiction
This is a good example of realistic fiction because the characters are fictional yet the plot is somewhat realistic. The things that the children are dealing with are things that happen to many families and children. It is also fictional because of the tiger. Most people do
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not own tigers and keep them.

Plot: This has a good struggle plot because it shows how Rob is dealing with the death of his mother. It shows how he and his father are recovering from their loss. Sistene's story also shows a good struggle plot because she is dealing with her father cheating on her mother and their separation. This is very relate-able for children.

Age Appropriate: intermediate
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LibraryThing member SandySurfer
It was a fast read and I enjoyed it because of that. It could have used more details in the setting. I liked it because the ending was unexpected.
LibraryThing member bibliophile26
I didn't like this book at all. I think the story was implausible and rushed.
LibraryThing member StaceyHH
The Tiger Rising is the story of two very sad and broken children, and how they are saved by a tiger, but not at all in the way you would expect. This story broke my heart. There's something about the way DiCamillo writes that touches my deepest emotions. I don't know if I can explain how or why,
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but it's as if I feel the stories, instead of reading them. It's some strange retro-childhood cathartic experience that makes me want to cry myself clean, as if my child-tears could wash away all the stains of jaded adulthood.
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LibraryThing member Sweetlexington
I liked that there weren't any slow parts. I liked how the girl and the boy became friends.
LibraryThing member Wosret
What a lovely story, but far too brief. I really want to know what happened afterwards.
LibraryThing member Amsa1959
I did not like this story. I found it too full of stereotypes. I couldn´t help get the feeling the author had meant it to be longer. The story deals with the classic children´s story topics of lonely misunderstood child grieving dead parent, finding unlikely friend, charing secret and adventure,
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but I found it too shallow. A children´s story, a saga or a fairy tale must be believable in itself. The ending must somehow be credible according to the rest of the story. This story did not make sense to me.
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LibraryThing member momma2
We have loved every book we have read by Kate DiCamillo and this was no exception. The story of the tiger and his captivity weaves subtly throughout the larger story of Rob and Sistine's struggles. And although it wasn't a Litmus Lozenge (Winn Dixie) it was poignantly fulfilling.
LibraryThing member hannah1997
a sad but wonderful book
LibraryThing member adaniel11
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Review: The author stayed true to the genre of realistic fiction because she wrote a story that is believable about a boy (Rob) who has lost his mother, is lonely, and yet has no friends. The author also does a good job of incorporating the school bullies into the story
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making it seem very realistic as Rob faces them everyday on his way to school and during school hours.
Plot: The plot contained two types of conflict: person against person and person against self. The plot line begins by creating a conflict between Rob and the school bullies (person against person). Then in comes a girl (Sistine) who disrupts the balance. Rob is sent home from school for a spell, but must decide what to do about the tiger he found locked up in the woods. At many different points in the book, Rob battles himself (person against self) to keep his emotions in check and to not have reactions against things that happen to him. The central conflict in the plot is decided whether or not to release the tiger. The story has a resolution, but it was one that I felt was a little disappointing and almost left me with more questions then answers.
Media: Acrylic
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LibraryThing member Melissa.mhan3754
The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo is about this boy named Rob who found this tiger. He really likes this tiger and goes to visit it often. He also meets this girl from school and can't decide if he likes her or not. Since Rob has a desease on his legs, he gets to stay home from school for a couple
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of days and he is happy about that. This girl comes over to his house to bring him his homework. Rob decides to tell her about the tiger, and at the end they end up letting it go. Once they let him go, Rob's father kills it.
This book was a short, easy book to read. It was really easy to read along, but the author is so cool how she writes and expresses each character. I could really tell she was the same author of Because of Winn-Dixie. That is another book by Kate DiCamillo that is really good. I enjoyed this book to see what would happen to the tiger because they are cute. It was sad to know that Rob's mother died when he was just a kid. I know I would be really sad. If you need an easy book to read then I would recommend this book.
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LibraryThing member KatherineHaley
The Tiger Rising is about a boy named Rob who finds a Tiger who belongs to Boughchamp. The richest guy in town. Rob should stay away from the but instead he "puts it on his suit case" (you'll find out what that means). He had a not so good life, until he met Sistene. But his life is still a little
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Rob tells Sistene about the tiger she orders him to let the tiger go
but will he?
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LibraryThing member FINNIAN11
This is a sad book but it's good and happy even though it's sad.
LibraryThing member JWarren42
The same sort of "magic" prose that she uses in "Because of Winn-Dixie" but here the effect is somewhat less. Powerful book for boys, though. The point is the metaphoric journey of masculinity, and so the realism suffers, but I don't think that mars the readers experience. This would make a
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fantastic bibliotherapy book.
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