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Riding the Tiger

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  131 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Esteemed author Eve Bunting brings all her insight, empathy, and storytelling skill to this powerful allegorical tale, set in the streets of an unnamed city and illustrated with striking woodcuts. Danny, new to town, is proud when a glittery-eyed tiger invites him for a ride. He climbs up onto the tiger’s massive back, and together they cruise the neighborhood. Everyone gi ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 19th 2001 by Clarion Books
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May 20, 2010 J.L. rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book! I love how Bunting uses a “tiger” as a metaphor for a gang member. In a way, that does serve to soften the bluntness of the story she’s writing for young children. I think it would take an adult, in most situations, to explain what the tiger represents. Yet children will readily respond to the idea of getting yourself into a situation that is more than you can handle, potentially dangerous, and definitely scary—even if they have no experience with gangs and no real compr ...more
Kristine Kouba
Apr 09, 2010 Kristine Kouba rated it really liked it
Plot Summary - this was my picture book selection. Danny is 10 years old and is new in town. A large tiger comes by and tells Danny he wants to give him a ride. The tiger persuades Danny to ride. He and the tiger go around town and the tiger acts big and tough, he seems like a bully, and he claims to have power. To me, he represented a bully, arrogance, and conformity- the tiger tried to intimitate people and power over them. Danny realizes what the tiger is doing and what the tiger belives in, ...more
Katie Newton
Aug 23, 2016 Katie Newton rated it really liked it
NOT FOR YOUNG CHILDREN. This book is very dark and contains a degree of violence. It is clearly a metaphor for gangs, maybe drugs. While it did spark some good conversation with my children, I kind of wish I hadn't read it to them, at least yet.
Kirstin Kemppainen
Danny is the new boy in town and is offered by a random tiger to take a ride on his back. The tiger is very controlling and Danny wants off of his back but is scared to tell him no. Finally he works up enough courage to get off of his back. This would be appropriate to read to older kids because it's a book about standing up to bullies or gangs that seem to be a good choice at first, because Danny didn't have any friends, but after someone gets hurt he realizes this isn't a very good idea to be ...more
Mackenzie Rodeghier
Mar 26, 2013 Mackenzie Rodeghier rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book was creepy!! I'm sure there's a time and a place that this story could be read and could make a huge impact, but i definitely wouldn't pick it up off the shelf and read it to a group of happy children. This book alludes to gang activity and all its facets; were I ever in a situation where I needed to sway children away from this type of lifestyle, I'd definitely consider this book to be a valuable resource. However, on an everyday basis, I think this story is scary and intense.
Cullen Howard
Summary: "Riding the Tiger” is metaphorical novel exploring the attractions and dangers of gangs, although I suppose it could be interpreted to refer to any temptation that crosses our path as adolescents (gangs, drugs, etc.). The literal story line follows Danny who is enticed by a tiger while bored one day. The tiger offers to let him ride on his back, and so Danny rides him around town. At first Danny feels like he is garnering respect from the townspeople, but soon realizes it is only fear. ...more
When you get on the tiger, it' awfully hard to get off. Tiger is a metaphor for bad decisions, specifically getting involved with gangs. Great for grade school kids. Led to some interesting discussions with my kids.

Illustrations are wood cuts, which my 7yo does not enjoy, but whatever.
Bunting, Eve. (2001). Riding the tiger. New York: Clarion Books.

Danny moves into a new neighbourhood and is excited to ride on the tiger’s back. He feels mature, popular, and respected. He soon learns that the people do not respect him rather the feeling is that of fear.

This book made me think of many of my students. I realize how difficult it is to get off the tiger’s back. More disturbing is the realization that so many don’t want to get off. The tiger is their only connection to a community.
Jeremy Allen
Apr 12, 2011 Jeremy Allen rated it liked it
Category: Picture Book/ Regional Folk-Fairy Tale
Level: 3rd - 7th grade
Summary: The young boy Danny is new in the neighborhood when a tiger comes by. While slightly scared, the allure of intrigue from the seductive tiger, Danny gets on his back and rides around the urban terrain. Passing several people who give Danny warning and advice to not ride the tiger, Danny does not heed them. He continues on with the tiger watching the tiger flaunt his power grow and listening to the influence the tiger
Dec 02, 2010 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, 2010
This is a dark and dangerously ominous story, but an important one that carries a good message no matter how you interpret it. I was a bit nervous about reading this with our girls, but their Elementary school has a very strong anti-bullying campaign and I was able to relate this story to that message. I took it as more of a metaphor for gangs and drugs and we discussed those as well, but I think they understood the bullying aspect more easily. I believe that this is a great story to be read as ...more
Jocelyn Montalvo Cullum
Aug 20, 2016 Jocelyn Montalvo Cullum marked it as to-read
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I could see this title being used with older children as part of a discussion about gangs or peer pressure.
I do not recommend reading this book aloud to anyone younger than 10.
Katie Lee
Mar 31, 2013 Katie Lee rated it liked it
This book was very interesting. Danny is new to town and is pressured to take a ride on the tiger's back. He complies, but later regrets his decision because the tiger becomes more forceful and demanding. The overall style, main idea, and illustrations in this story was something that I had never seen before and I'm not sure that I would choose to read this to a class.
Mar 31, 2015 Selinee rated it really liked it
The book Riding the tiger is about a boy named Danny who was new in the neighborhood. Danny didn't know the fear that people had of the tiger so he went on the tiger's back. Danny was warned that once he gets on the tiger's back it's hard to get of. Soon Danny notice the danger he was facing. I recommend this book to readers that are new to something.
Kelsey Scherer
Mar 10, 2013 Kelsey Scherer rated it really liked it
A very different but unique story. It teaches a unique concept of being yourself, doing what your heart desires and not falling for peer pressure. It uses great examples and images to teach these lessons. I enjoyed the story line and the characterization with Danny and the tiger. It is a great story to keep for future reference in my classroom.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Riding the Tiger is a book about the temptation to join a gang. It's a shame that children as young as this book is intended for have to be taught about resisting gangs. Combine this with Bunting's other picture book, Your Move, about a boy who tries to prevent his fellow gang members from recruiting his younger brother.
Christopher James
Dec 10, 2013 Christopher James rated it really liked it
Shelves: teaching
I found that this book was very effective in my classroom. Most of the students were engaged with the story, and were able to dissect the story from what it is truly trying to convey. At grade 5, students are learning how to find implied meaning, so this is perfect, but it would be great for all the junior grades.
Sydney McClure
Good idea for five finger strategy for comprehension. It can also be text to self, text, and world strategy. Illustrations also help to convey moral of the story. Probably better to be read to first to third and then elaborated on in grades fourth and fifth.
Nov 16, 2009 Karen added it
Shelves: read-out-loud
I get what this book is about. It's not a fit for my girls though. It's kinda dark and I didn't like the fact that the boy went ahead with the tiger. I don't like any story where a kid goes off with a stranger.
May 04, 2010 John rated it really liked it
This book was a great picture book read. It reflected gangs and how you dont have to join them.I was very impressed how the authour made it so serious for a picture book.
Emily Graham
This story of a little boy named Danny who is new in town is a great story to read to students that may be introduced to peer pressure or making friends with good people.
Jenna McRae
Mar 06, 2013 Jenna McRae rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-book
The illustrations to this book are important to pay attention to. The story is very interesting. I enjoyed this book. I would recommend thus book for an older aged student.
Mar 12, 2013 Brandi rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals, lessons
Great book for children not to follow others, because sometimes those people aren't going the right direction. Instead they should be the leaders and do what is best to them.
May 06, 2009 Alex rated it it was ok
I didn't really like this short story, because I was forced to read it in school. It also wasn't very captivating to my interests.
Mar 20, 2013 Rachel rated it really liked it
This book was pretty neat. I really liked the pictures and how the tiger changes through the story. It is a good story for kids to hear.
Emily Rosbottom
Being highly symbolic, this book would best be read to third through fifth grades. I loved the woodblock illustrations!
Jun 11, 2008 Lynn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teachers and students
This is a great book to use when you're teaching kids the dangers of drugs or any addictive behaviors.
Feb 18, 2010 Rachel rated it liked it
resisting peer pressure, drugs, and the 'darker' side of life
Mar 13, 2012 Chris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 4th-grade
Great book for discussing peer pressure, and gang affiliation.
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Also known as Evelyn Bolton and A.E. Bunting.

Anne Evelyn Bunting, better known as Eve Bunting, is an author with more than 250 books. Her books are diverse in age groups, from picture books to chapter books, and topic, ranging from Thanksgiving to riots in Los Angeles. Eve Bunting has won several awards for her works.

Bunting went to school in Ireland and grew up with storytelling. In Ireland, “The
More about Eve Bunting...

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