Tears of a Tiger (Hazelwood High Trilogy #1)

Tears of a Tiger (Hazelwood High Trilogy #1)

4.6 579
by Sharon M. Draper

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When Gerald was a child he was fascinated by fire. But fire is dangerous and powerful, and tragedy strikes. His substance-addicted mother is taken from him. Then he loses the loving generosity of a favorite aunt. A brutal stepfather with a flaming temper and an evil secret makes his life miserable. The one bright light in Gerald's life is his little half sister,

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When Gerald was a child he was fascinated by fire. But fire is dangerous and powerful, and tragedy strikes. His substance-addicted mother is taken from him. Then he loses the loving generosity of a favorite aunt. A brutal stepfather with a flaming temper and an evil secret makes his life miserable. The one bright light in Gerald's life is his little half sister, Angel, whom he struggles to protect from her father, Jordan Sparks, who abuses her, and from their mother, whose irresponsible behavior forces Gerald to work hard to keep the family together.

As a teenager, Gerald finds success as a member of the Hazelwood Tigers basketball team, while Angel develops her talents as a dancer. Trouble still haunts them, however, and Gerald learns, painfully, that young friends can die and old enemies must be faced. In the end he must stand up to his stepfather alone in a blazing confrontation.

Sharon M. Draper has interwoven characters and events from her previous novel, Tears of a Tiger, in this unflinchingly realistic portrayal of poverty and child abuse. It is an inspiring story of a young man who rises above the tragic circumstances of his life by drawing on the love and strength of family and friends.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Draper's ambitious first novel tackles teenage drinking, suicidal depression and other front-page topics-and relates the action through dialogue or compositions ``by'' the characters. Exuberant after a high-school basketball victory, athletic stars Andy and Robert down a few beers with friends and then ride around in Andy's car. When Robert is killed in an expressway accident, Andy assumes what turns out to be an unbearable burden of guilt. Short chapters in the form of newspaper articles, diary entries and school writing assignments telegraph the community's reactions and Andy's own feelings; these latter are amplified through Andy's conversations with his coach, with his girlfriend and-poignantly-with the psychologist his concerned parents send him to. This quick-cutting, MTV-like approach allows insights into a number of different viewpoints, ranging from Andy's wrenching internal monologues to the ghastly perkiness of the school's ``grief counselor.'' Casting most of the protagonists as African American, Draper also makes some telling (though not terribly new) points about race and racism. Though the issue-oriented plot can get a bit preachy, the combination of raw energy and intense emotion should stimulate readers. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-A hard-hitting story of the unraveling of a young black man who was the drunk driver in an accident that killed his best friend. Andy cannot bear his guilt or reach out for help, and chapter by chapter his disintegration builds to inevitable suicide. Counselors, coaches, friends, and family all fail him. The story is artfully told through English class assignments, including poetry; dialogues; police and newspaper reports; and letters. From time to time, the author veers off into overt lessons on racial issues, but aside from this flaw the characters' voices are strong, vivid, and ring true. This moving novel will leave a deep impression.-Kathy Fritts, Jesuit High School, Portland, OR
Merri Monks
When star basketball player Robert Washington and his three closest friends mix drinking and driving in a postgame victory celebration, Robert is killed in an auto accident. The driver, Andy Jackson, is unable to resolve his feelings of guilt and remorse. Neither Andy's parents nor his psychologist accurately perceive the depth of Andy's depression, with tragic results--Andy, at the end, commits suicide. The story emerges through newspaper articles, journal entries, homework assignments, letters, and conversations that give the book immediacy; the teenage conversational idiom is contemporary and well written. Andy's perceptions of the racism directed toward young black males--by teachers, guidance counselors, and clerks in shopping malls--will be recognized by African American YAs. Although some heavy-handed didacticism detracts from the novel's impact, the characters and their experiences will captivate teen readers. The novel is also suitable for use in curricular units dealing with alcohol abuse, suicide, and racism.
“The characters' voices are strong, vivid, and ring true. This moving novel will leave a lasting impression.”

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Product Details

Simon Pulse
Publication date:
Hazelwood High Trilogy Series, #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.19(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.60(d)
700L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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Tears of a Tiger 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 579 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has great detail and tells the story of a teenage boy who made one mistake, but it changed his life forever. Andy and his friends were drinking. Andy crashed his car and killed his best friend. He treats everyone different and no longer has a sense of humor or ever smiles. He keeps blaming himself for the death of his best friend even though it's not his fault. He can't live with the pain and the guilt, so he commits suicide.This book is sad and devastating but it is one of the greatest books I have ever read. The plot is very good and it covers everything that you would expect a teenage boy to do in this situation. This book is altogether great. It shows that people shouldn't take the easy way out of tough situations.
EJ22 More than 1 year ago
Tears of a Tiger is about four teenagers in a car, laughing, having a good time, but when the driver, Andy, looks up again all he sees is a big wall. They crash and three of them make it out of the car. Rob is pinned in the car and his friends, Andy, Gerald, and Tyrone, all attempt to get him out. Before they could, the gas tank blows up and burns Rob alive. Andy is the most devastated because Rob was his best friend. Andy has to try to deal with losing his best friend, doing well in school, doing well for the basketball team, and staying true to his girlfriend. Dealing with sports and keeping my grades up is hard enough for me! Throughout the whole book is about Andy trying to keep his life straight. If you like books about basketball and drama you will love this book! Please don't miss out on a great book. You will love it! The end of the book has a very very surprise ending that almost put me into tears. I guess you can get attached to a book and the characters in it. It's almost like the book becomes a part of you and your life!
Gwen88 More than 1 year ago
In the book Tears of a Tiger, you see what Andy goes through when him and his friends get in a car crash that was his fault. He was the one that bought the beer and drank it and he drove. His best friend ends up dying in the crash. The book was really good in my opinion. And I am not going to lie. It was really sad and almost brought me to tears reading it. What I didn¿t understand was why was Andy driving when BJ was totally sober. If one of them wasn¿t drunk then he should have been the one that was driving. The whole book you see Andy slowly being torn up on the inside. At school no one really expected anything to be wrong because he was good at pretending that he was cool and all okay about the crash. He should have just opened up and been like, ¿ya¿ll it really hurts to think that it was all my fault...¿ and that would have probably helped a lot. And the fact that Keisha dumped him and pretty much told him to suck it up, was really mean of her. I mean I could see where Gerald was coming from because he went through a lot too, but keisha had never been through something even close to that. She said that she lost Robbie too but it wasn¿t her fault that he died. But the fact the Andy committed suicide was the really sad part for me. And the fact that his little brother found him, that was really sad. The end of the book was really good, and I love how they made the last paragraph from Andy¿s brother talking to his grave. I was kind of wondering why the book was called Tears of a Tiger. Then when I read that I understood. I guess Keisha know now how it feels to be one of the reasons why someone dies.
Taylor38 More than 1 year ago
Tears of a Tiger is a great book that I would recommend for all teens to read. Sharon Draper creates a situation to where she can explain Life and Death to young adults. One lesson I learned is to never drink and drive because you will never what might happen in the next second or two. Sharon Draper teaches responsibility and demonstrates it on a Teen who killed his best friend in a car accident. This book points out that not only older people die, but that younger people die also. Many children say I'm going to have a good life, but in the long run they end up messing it up and dying at a very young age. Sharon Draper takes her unique story and shows how you should live your life to the fullest each and every day. Even if you do something terrible you should let it go. In the books case Andy blames the death of his best friend on him and he take the pressure. He should have just moved on with his life because that¿s what his best friend Robert Washington probably wanted for him. Once again Sharon M. Draper makes another great story for teens to really understand what can happen in Life even if it's just an accident.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sharon Draper know how to make these characters come alivr. When I read her novels they come alive as I read them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I give this book 5-STARS . ! Because never in my life has a book made me cry real tears.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tears Of A Tiger is an all time favorite of mine. It surely captures the dangers of drinking and driving, underage drinking, and depression among teenagers. This is a must read for anyone who likes action books. The ending? You'll never see it coming. -Ali
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has a great plot but a dark story, whoever gives this a postive review is awesome and whoever gives this a negative review is an idiot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was asome at the eant i was in tears. For real
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great! I had to read it for a summer reading book. I thouht it was gona be boring. But its the best.book i have read so farr.!(; If your thinking about getting it, i defintly would. !!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book tells how one mistake can haunt your life forever. I recommend this to your teens (or yourself) whoever thought about drinking. This tradegy will probably change their mind in a heart beat. Please read! -Book Beast
TinyCowboy More than 1 year ago
The novel TEAR OF A TIGER was a page- turning and a well-written story of a teenage boy who suffers with depression after accidentally murdering his best friend and fellow teammate, Rob Washington, in a drunk driving accident. This book was a tad hard to understand because much slang is used and the book is quite stereotypical but is true to the real life tragedy of being responsible for another human accidental death and the classic teenage dilemma. I recommend this book for those with a certain taste in literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was aamazzing! The only problem was that it was really, really sad. My friend and I cried while reading it. But it only made the book better. I recomend it to everyone who doesn't mind a sad book.
Russo19 More than 1 year ago
This book meant a lot to me. My bestfriend, Nevada, asked me to read it and I did. I've had 4 friends die in car accidents, 11 friends die all together. This book made me cry, it's the best book I have EVER read. Thank you Sharon M. Draper for writing this amazing series. -Russo
jb14 More than 1 year ago
Imagine being behind the wheel of a car that kills your best freiend? Well this is like being in the shoes of a you teenage boy named Andy Jackson. He was in a very bad situation as he choose to drink and drive after a basket ball game which changed his life.The tone of this story is very depressing and guiltful. The authors purpose is to keep the reader intertained with sense and parts in the book that are real. The story takes place in the mid 1990's after a Hazzlewood basketball game with four basketball players get together for a good time.The main characters are Andy and robbie two of the teens that were involved in the tragity.The book has many main points that have alot to do with the way the story goes along and they all have a purpose to the way things lay out.The mood in this book is sometimes very different because of the events that occur.The author did a good job with fulfilling the main purpose of the book and getting the point across of anything could happen at anytme and it could change your life in a flash. The reason why i liked this book is because of the polt and the way the author keeps you in the story.I agree with the purpose of the story becuase of the fact that it could really happen to somebody and it can effect many pople in many differnt ways. I really liked the way the author lead up to certain events and everything all flowed together to make lots of since.The author overall didi a good job with the purpose of the book and the plot of it but he could have easially made it longer and addded more details to the story like how the victims famliy turned out and how the high school remembered the death of Robbie.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I didn't see the ending coming until the last few pages. I'm still sad and hurt. Makes me want to ask different questions of my children. And pray harder for their hearts and wish the best when dealing with their pain. Lord knows there is so much pain in this book. Reminds me that real life...hurts. However, bravery to keep living is worth it. If you try. And don't give up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good job sharono O
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book i give 100 stars so good sad and intriging all at once plz read trust me you will love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well pieced together
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Note that I am an adult and I truly believe this book is inappropriate for younger students.  Suicide is a major  concern for teens.  Most teens think about suicide at some time and a large number actually attemopt.  This book presents suicide as an alternative for the teen having problems.  Do not recommend unless - possibly - teens are also screened for depression and their parents understand the topic.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've never enjoyed reading so much like i do now and i thank Sharom Draper for this. I thank her for writing awesome books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book when i was in high school an i loved it