About My Book Reviews

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo

Title: Tiger Rising

Author: Kate DiCamillo

Published: 2001

Genre: General Fiction

Grade Level: 6th-8th Grade

-Trigger Warning: Grief

-Features: Psoriasis-a skin disease that causes red, itchy scaly patches, most commonly on the knees, elbows, trunk and scalp.

Blurb (from goodreads): 

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.

My Scores:

Writing Style: Solid

I don’t feel the novel has a very strong beginning, but the writing gets better and better as the book goes on. 

By the half-way mark, I thought, “That’s the DiCamillo I remember.” Since I had read three of her previous works, Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, I felt I had a pretty good understanding of her specific tone of voice. 

Characters: Absolutely Amazing

The characters in this novel are incredibly impactful, especially for such a short novel! They are all so well-crafted, complex, and realistic that I can feel their presence in the room and smell the smoke coming off their cigarettes. 

I love how DiCamillo treats the adult characters with just as much respect as her child characters. So many times in children’s literature, the adult characters are conveniently absent or else don’t (realistically) act like adults. 

Plot: Slow Burn

Come on, you know it’s a slow burn going in, it’s Kate DiCamillo after all! Her style is all about the slow build to a dramatic and tear-jerking ending! So don’t be afraid to bring out the Kleenex, you’re gonna need ‘em! 

Overall: Enjoyable

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel! I may or may not have shed a few tears because DiCamillo is just that good at making me care about fictional characters. But anyway, if you’re looking for a quick, impactful read I would highly recommend it. 

Messaging: Grief affects everyone differently.

Goodreads Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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