"It seemed as if the tiger was a magic trick, rising out of the mist." It's six months since Rob's mum died and he moved to Florida. His dad won't talk about her at all. "Crying ain't going to bring her back," he says. So Rob fills a suitcase in his mind with all his forbidden thoughts - the rash on his legs, the bullies at school - and keeps it ...
"It seemed as if the tiger was a magic trick, rising out of the mist." It's six months since Rob's mum died and he moved to Florida. His dad won't talk about her at all. "Crying ain't going to bring her back," he says. So Rob fills a suitcase in his mind with all his forbidden thoughts - the rash on his legs, the bullies at school - and keeps it tight shut. But when he finds a caged tiger deep in the woods, his whole life begins to change. That same day he meets Sistine Bailey, another outsider who's bullied at school. She says they must set the tiger free - and when Rob imagines the tiger rising out of its cage, his suitcase begins to open...
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my neice loved this book. she was sad about the tiger dying but overall, she was happy that the father and son worked out their problems. she passed it along to one of her friends to read. i would say it was a good "learning" book for her. she realized that all relationships have their problems and they can be worked out.
Publishers Weekly, 2001-01-15 DiCamillo's second novel may not be as humorous as her debut, Because of Winn-Dixie, but it is just as carefully structured, and her ear is just as finely tuned to her characters. In the first chapter, readers learn that Rob lost his mother six months ago; his father has uprooted their lives from Jacksonville to Lister, Fla.; the boy hates school; and his father's boss, Beauchamp, is keeping a caged wild tiger at Beauchamp's abandoned gas station. The author characterizes Rob by what he does not do ("Rob had a way of not-thinking about things"; "He was a pro at not-crying"), and the imprisoned tiger becomes a metaphor for the thoughts and feelings he keeps trapped inside. Two other characters, together with the tiger, act as catalyst for Rob's change: a new classmate, Sistine ("like the chapel"), who believes that her father will rescue her someday and take her back to Pennsylvania, and Willie May, a wise and compassionate woman who works as a chambermaid at Beauchamp's hotel. The author delves deeply into the psyches of her cast with carefully choreographed scenes, opting for the economy of poetry over elaborate prose. The climax is sudden and brief, mimicking the surge of emotion that overtakes Rob, who can finally embrace life rather than negate it. DiCamillo demonstrates her versatility by treating themes similar to those of her first novel with a completely different approach. Readers will eagerly anticipate her next work. Ages 10-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2002-07-29 After Rob's mother dies, he and his father move to a new town to get a fresh start, he discovers a caged tiger in the woods. An emotionally rich story about a boy caught in the powerful grip of grief. Ages 8-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2001-07-09 DiCamillo's evocative, emotionally rich story about a boy caught in the powerful grip of grief is given even more dramatic depth via Baker's (Thirteen Days; The Tailor of Panama) sensitive and colorful performance. Rob has become a "pro at not-crying" in the six months since his mother died. Rob's father hasn't allowed such displays and has moved himself and Rob to a new town and a new start. But Lister, Fla., hasn't been so great. Rob is plagued by a mysterious rash on his legs and endures the endless taunts of bullies; his father struggles as the maintenance man at a local motel owned by a demanding blowhard. Everything changes, however, when Rob stumbles upon a real-life caged tiger in the woods behind the motel and shares his discovery with Sistine, a spitfire of a girl who has just moved to town. The tiger soon stands in for the wild pain and anger that have overwhelmed Rob and Sistine, and they become determined to find a way to free the animal (and their feelings). Baker's pacing is perfect and his turn as sassy, no-nonsense motel housekeeper Willie May crackles. His other characterizations shine as well, especially the often haughty-sounding Sistine and the brief, humorous bits as unctuous Southerners at Rob's school. Ages 8-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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