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VOYAFourteen-year-old Cody is on the run when he ends up in Texas at the Sam Houston Tiger Ranch. A coworker in Dallas tells him that the ranch is hiring, so Cody calls. Ranch owner Sunny tells him that he will be cleaning cages when the tigers are locked down. How difficult can it be? It turns out that Sunny has played down some aspects of the job, such as tossing the 5,000 pounds of meat that the tigers eat each week into the pens and taking out the uneaten rotten bits. There is also butchering horses and walking tigers on leashes. Cody figures that he can handle anything after what he's been through. Cody is not on the run from the law, but he is running from his mother. Even though he has hitchhiked from New York to Texas and changed his name and age, she keeps finding him. Can the courage Cody develops handling tigers allow him to stand up to his abusive mother? Greenburg writes a fast-paced if choppy story. Flashback chapters give readers a picture of Cody's malevolent mother, but the real story takes place at the ranch. A predictable mystery and misplaced crush make this story's audience younger than one might expect. This novel will find its place among reluctant readers and those with a keen interest in big cats. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P M J (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2006, Random House, 208p., and PLB Ages 11 to 15.