Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo

The Tiger Rising is a short novel written by Kate DiCammillo. It is about a young boy named Rob living in Florida. His mother has recently died and he now lives with his father at The Kentucky Star, a small motel. One day while exploring the woods behind The Kentucky Star, both owned by a man named Beauchamp, he discovers a tiger, locked in a cage. This knowledge, like many of his other memories and feelings, he shares with no one until he meets the new girl at school - Sistine. They quickly become friends as they are both outsiders at school. Rob starts to open up, and he shares his secret tiger with Sistine, but things start to get out of hand. The adventure that ensues is one of remarkable self-discovery and human reliance. Although it is simplistic and child focused in nature, it has the ability to appeal to all age groups.

I really enjoyed this short novel because although it was somewhat predictable, it was a fun read and quite adorable. I did not want to put it down simply because it was enjoyable and sweet. The detail DiCamillo puts into the descriptions, such as the way she describes the tiger through Sistine's poem, and the description of the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel capture you mind and transport you into those places. I liked the characters because they were so realistic. Sistine is a strong minded young girl that pushes you to think about the hard questions. Rob was a child, trying to handle both his own pain and his father's pain from the loss of his mother. The traits and expressions are ones so common it is hard not to believe in the characters. I also enjoyed the foreshadowing, but some of it was far too obvious which ruined some of the later effect though. Overall, it is simplistic, but highly real and enjoyable. And while it is more focused at younger age groups, I would recommend it to all.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Minnetonka, Minnesota United States

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