The Tiger Rising

The Tiger Rising

4.1 284
by Kate DiCamillo

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From the best-selling author of Because of Winn-Dixie comes the moving story of an eleven-year-old-boy, Rob Horton, who finds a caged tiger in the woods behind the hotel where he lives with his father. With the help of his new friend, Sistine Bailey, Rob must decide what to do with his discovery and at the same time come to terms with his past.  See more details below


From the best-selling author of Because of Winn-Dixie comes the moving story of an eleven-year-old-boy, Rob Horton, who finds a caged tiger in the woods behind the hotel where he lives with his father. With the help of his new friend, Sistine Bailey, Rob must decide what to do with his discovery and at the same time come to terms with his past.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Kate DiCamillo follows up her Newbery Honor-winning novel, Because of Winn-Dixie, with an emotionally rich and poignant tale of one boy's struggle to find himself in a confusing and harsh world. The Tiger Rising is about the heartbreak of loss, the hope of new beginnings, and the unexpected events that often color our lives.

Twelve-year-old Rob Horton's life has been thoroughly uprooted: Following his mother's recent death, his father has moved them to a rundown motel in northern Florida. Faced with a grief he doesn't understand and his father's refusal to talk about it, Rob stumbles through his new life like an automaton. At school he is constantly bullied because of his newcomer status and an inexplicable leg rash he's had since his mother's death. The only bright light in Rob's day is another new student the bullies have targeted, a girl named Sistine ("like the chapel"), who is as openly angry and pugilistic as Rob is withdrawn and passive. Drawn together by their shared outsider status and a common emotional void (Sistine's parents have divorced) the two quickly become friends.

Even when Rob is suspended from school, he continues to see Sistine each day when she stops by to deliver his homework. Their bond is strengthened when he shares with her a startling discovery -- a live tiger trapped inside a cage in the woods behind the motel where he lives. They immediately start scheming up ways to help the creature escape and eventually, fate provides them with the perfect means to do so. But they fail to weigh all the consequences of their actions, a fact that becomes tragically clear within minutes of the tiger's release. Yet there is triumph in the outcome as well, for it leads to an epiphany of sorts for both Rob and his father, setting Rob at long last on the road toward emotional healing.

At just over 100 pages, The Tiger Rising is a quick read, despite its apparently languid pace. But don't let the story's slimness fool you -- DiCamillo packs a powerful punch and plenty of satisfaction into those few pages, filling each one with vivid imagery, poetic prose, and high emotional impact. (Beth Amos)

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Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.14(w) x 7.02(h) x 0.44(d)
520L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

That morning, after he discovered the tiger, Rob went and stood under the Kentucky Star Motel sign and waited for the school bus just like it was any other day. The Kentucky Star sign was composed of a yellow neon star that rose and fell over a piece of blue neon in the shape of the state of Kentucky. Rob liked the sign; he harbored a dim but abiding notion that it would bring him good luck.

Finding the tiger had been luck, he knew that. He had been out in the woods behind the Kentucky Star Motel, way out in the woods, not really looking for anything, just wandering, hoping that maybe he would get lost or get eaten by a bear and not have to go to school ever again. That’s when he saw the old Beauchamp gas station building, all boarded up and tumbling down; next to it, there was a cage, and inside the cage, unbelievably, there was a tiger--a real-life, very large tiger pacing back and forth. He was orange and gold and so bright, it was like staring at the sun itself, angry and trapped in a cage.

It was early morning and it looked like it might rain; it had been raining every day for almost two weeks. The sky was gray and the air was thick and still. Fog was hugging the ground. To Rob, it seemed as if the tiger was some magic trick, rising out of the mist. He was so astounded at his discovery, so amazed, that he stood and stared. But only for a minute; he was afraid to look at the tiger for too long, afraid that the tiger would disappear. He stared, and then he turned and ran back into the woods, toward the Kentucky Star. And the whole way home, while his brain doubted what he had seen, his heart beat out the truth to him. Ti-ger. Ti-ger. Ti-ger.

That was what Rob thought about as he stood beneath the Kentucky Star sign and waited for the bus. The tiger. He did not think about the rash on his legs, the itchy red blisters that snaked their way into his shoes. His father said that it would be less likely to itch if he didn’t think about it.

And he did not think about his mother. He hadn’t thought about her since the morning of the funeral, the morning he couldn’t stop crying the great heaving sobs that made his chest and stomach hurt. His father, watching him, standing beside him, had started to cry, too.

They were both dressed up in suits that day; his father’s suit was too small. And when he slapped Rob to make him stop crying, he ripped a hole underneath the arm of his jacket.

"There ain’t no point in crying," his father had said afterward. "Crying ain’t going to bring her back."

It had been six months since that day, six months since he and his father had moved from Jacksonville to Lister, and Rob had not cried since, not once.

The final thing he did not think about that morning was getting onto the bus. He specifically did not think about Norton and Billy Threemonger waiting for him like chained and starved guard dogs, eager to attack.

Rob had a way of not-thinking about things. He imagined himself as a suitcase that was too full, like the one that he had packed when they left Jacksonville after the funeral. He made all his feelings go inside the suitcase; he stuffed them in tight and then sat on the suitcase and locked it shut. That was the way he not-thought about things. Sometimes it was hard to keep the suitcase shut. But now he had something to put on top of it. The tiger.

So as he waited for the bus under the Kentucky Star sign, and as the first drops of rain fell from the sullen sky, Rob imagined the tiger on top of his suitcase, blinking his golden eyes, sitting proud and strong, unaffected by all the not-thoughts inside straining to come out.

The Tiger Rising. Copyright (c) 2001 Kate DiCamillo. Candlewick Press, Inc. Cambridge, MA

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The Tiger Rising 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 284 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in third grade! I remember it so well because it was to first book I ever CRIED in!! This was such a good book and would recommend it to anyone!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Action,adventure,sadness,friendship,love,hate,and even moments that will stop your breath.These are all the feelings you will encounter in this book.The book is by Kate DiCamillo.This is a great book and it would defiantly be worth your time. This book is about a boy named Rob who finds a tiger while walking through the woods one day!He and his friend,Sistine,a girl he meets from school, go on a mission to set it free. They get themselves into co much mischief that it seems like they will never get out.Will it be love that settles there differences or hate that will tear them apart?Find all this information out when you read The Tiger Rising. The thing i liked best about this book is that it shows you can always trust a friend and that you shouldn't be afraid of what your friend might think.And that is a very great life lesson. I recommend this book to kids 10 and older who like animals and adventure.
LadyHester More than 1 year ago
The Tiger Rising is a short book that packs an intense emotional wallop. A young boy struggles to contain and ignore the intense grief and various other problems he is facing. The story uses symbolism to show how the boy faces his grief and learns to set it free.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the book, i was so interested that I could n't put down the book till 1:00AM and had work the next day! i totally recomend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this last year and couldnt put it down as many time my teacher told me to. Theres only one curse word but you will get over it. The setting is in a dull town, i believe this boy lives with his dad at a hotel. If you ever read this book i know for sure you will like it. Because how the book is set up, and the choice of words that is in then the book. As a 10 year old im inpressed. ~Brianna Cole
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book made some interesting points such as the relationship between rob and the Tiger, the tiger and rob are kind of connected. Because it seems as if rob has a strong spirit inside of him (the tiger) that's waiting to get out and show everyone and every thing what he can really do, and the reason him and the tiger are connected is because rob is afraid to let the strong spirit inside of him to show, much like he is afraid to let the tiger out of his cage. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good read, this book was a real page turner, because I was always wanting to know what was going to happen next, I really enjoyed this story because it had an interesting story line, in total this is a very good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great you should read it my friend and i love it ,it has all differerent kinds of emotions it made me cry, READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
Rodney Born More than 1 year ago
very detailed, descriptive, and awesome book. I lloovvee it!!!
Susan Devig More than 1 year ago
read it after you read these rewiews the best book i have read in a long time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mary Lueras More than 1 year ago
I Luv It!!! This book it makes me cry at the end where the dad kills the tiger and the story is so good GOOD JOB Kate Dillimo
MnM97 More than 1 year ago
I read this when I was about 12 years old and I loved it, I couldn't put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing love it almost brought me to years
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
one of my faviriite books in the world it is so.worth the money get it i read it in 2 hours i cant put it down i would give millions of stars if i could
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book was so good!
it was short which i like and it had a good story!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Do not read and trust the review below, by 'Sam'. Read them all, and count the positive to the negative. This book is an excellent must-read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Our class read the novel, The Tiger Rising, by Kate DiCamillo. Some of us loved it, and others thought it was only okay. But our teacher thinks it is excellent and since she is the boss we are going with a 'recommended' rating. The main characters are Rob and Sistine. Both kids, who are in the 6th grade, are going through a hard time. At the beginning of the book, Rob¿s mother just died, and Sistine has just moved to Florida from Philadelphia because her parents got divorced. Both kids are being bullied in school. Rob copes with his hard time by pretending that his feelings are locked in an imaginary suitcase. He discovers a tiger locked in a cage behind the motel where he is living with his dad. The owner of the hotel, Beauchamp, asks Rob to feed the tiger a couple times a day, and gives Rob the keys to the cage. Why is there a tiger locked in a cage? What does Rob¿s friend Sistine think about the tiger? Will Rob and Sistine overcome their problems? Join Rob and Sistine as they figure out what to do, and learn to trust the grown-ups to help them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great sistine and willie may.sad when the tiger dues
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please right reviews but dont spoil it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is sad but good when i read it i thought wow that was awsome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great because it is full of twist and turns you would never find them coming! I love this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Only read half of it thanks to whoever said the ending ,no point in reading the restof it!!! Anyways so far it was a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I readthis book t school on the nooks and its really good! I suggest you but it. Its worth the money guys, Bye, Hai
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was rather good, but I thought the tiger dying in the end was sad. I thought Sistine was funny!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guys if you dont get the title or why Cricket is alive in the front cover it is because they are rising into heaven and also if you dont like books with a guy killing an animal or really sad books or books about a guy with a miserable life then this is not a good book for you but if you like whats going to happen next books that are exiting get this book and I know that the beggining of this book is boring it get really good!!!!!!