Twelve-year-old Rob Horton cannot believe his eyes. He has discovered a real, live tiger! It’s in the woods behind the hotel, locked in a cage.
That very same day, he meets Sistine Bailey, a tough northern girl who strides onto the school bus in a pink dress. No one wears pink dresses to school, even as a boy, Rob knows that.
The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo is a small, short novel, telling of Rob and Sistine’s budding friendship. Sistine easily shares her feelings about the rural Florida town to which she’s moved, and her parent’s divorce, and whatever is on her mind.
Rob has locked all his feelings into an imaginary suitcase – his sorrow about his mother’s death, his frustration with the school bullies, and whatever is on his mind.
The tiger brings them together, and Sistine helps Rob pry open, and ultimately get rid of, his emotional suitcase.
DiCamillo is a master at conveying feelings, heartache and memories in simple language and images which both children and adults can understand.
Recommended for ages 7 and up.