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The Tiger Rising

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  22,936 ratings  ·  2,657 reviews
The National Book Award finalist from the best-selling author of Because of Winn-Dixie—now in paperback

Walking through the misty Florida woods one morning, twelve-year-old Rob Horton is stunned to encounter a tiger—a real-life, very large tiger—pacing back and forth in a cage. What's more, on the same extraordinary day, he meets Sistine Bailey, a girl who shows her feeling
Paperback, 128 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by Candlewick Press (first published 2001)
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Lisa Mcbroom To me the Tiger was a metaphor for Rob's bottled up feelings and issues not dealt with. When they freed the tiger Rob became more open!…moreTo me the Tiger was a metaphor for Rob's bottled up feelings and issues not dealt with. When they freed the tiger Rob became more open!(less)
Lilli Gilliam What kind of question is this??? Hold on, maybe I'll friend request you :)…moreWhat kind of question is this??? Hold on, maybe I'll friend request you :)(less)

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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  22,936 ratings  ·  2,657 reviews

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Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
At this point, I’m fairly certain there isn’t anything Kate DiCamillo can write that we won’t enjoy. This one wasn’t as good as the others we’ve read so far, but we still enjoyed it. It turned out to be a speedy read at just a smidge over 100 pages.

Rob Horton, a 12-year-old boy, lives with his dad at the Kentucky Star Motel. His mother (Caroline) recently passed away from cancer and he’s dealing with a lot of bottled up emotion from that, plus he deals with a blistering skin condition on his leg
Mar 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidbooks
Sometimes when I pick a read-aloud for my students I have one student in mind who I hope it touches. I was surprised by who connected to this short sad story. Beatriz is not my class star. She is not a trouble maker or time-taker either. She loved this book and today as I finished it and we spent sometime reflecting on it she surprised me by being the one student who really got that this story isn't really about a tiger. They key word in the title is actually "rising".
This book is the first rea
Aug 09, 2009 rated it liked it
this author probably gives out prunes to kids on halloween. this is the second of her books i have read, and it's another depressing one. it's true, both of them end on sortof upbeat themes like the redemptive power of love (once you are so broken and disfigured it's almost not even worth it) or the liberating feeling of overcoming grief (after so much death and senseless destruction that no one really cares about your tiny feelings) so yeah - little happy afterthoughts. but they are hardly a ba ...more
Rob looked at her small pinched face and her bleeding knuckles and dark eyes, and he felt something inside him open up. It was the same way he felt when he picked up a piece of wood and started working on it, not knowing what it would be and then watching it turn into something he recognized.
He took a breath. He opened his mouth and let the words fall out. “I know where there's a tiger.”
Sistine stood in the drizzly rain and stared at him, her eyes black and fierce.
She didn't say “A real one?”
Kimberly Dawn
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I first listened to this on audiobook, and somehow I missed most of the greatness. Sometimes it takes a second look or listen. It seemed to be lacking something, but maybe I hadn’t listened closely enough. Anyway, I’m really glad I read the ebook today, so that I didn’t miss out on all of the beauty in this wonderfully told story.
The Rusty Key
Oct 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Rusty Key Writer: Jordan B. Nielsen

Recommended for: EVERYONE aged twelve and up, both boys and girls. There are some adult themes, and mild, but poignant violence, which will probably be more affecting to those over twenty than the younger set, who might not feel its full force.

One Word Summary: Radiant

Oh Kate, you’ve done it again. The words ‘Kate DiCamillo’ are becoming more than just a name, but a state of being. If you’re feeling a little ‘Kate DiCamillo’, chances are you’re a b
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a nice surprise. I randomly picked up a DiCamillo book and was entranced by the story. Very short read (took me about 2 hours to get through) and a good one.

Rob lives in Florida with his dad in a nasty little motel after the death of his mom. He is such a sad, talented boy. He meets Sistine on the school bus, a new girl with fierce attitude. She is also very upset about her new move and life. They end up being friends and he finds a tiger in the woods behind the hotel. Sistine wants to
Aug 19, 2009 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cathy Costello
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
I’ve read several of Kate DiCamillo’s novels, and I use two of them with my students. I was hoping that The Rising Tiger would be one that I could add to my repertoire, but I’m afraid that I really didn’t care for it. I found the characters to be underdeveloped. I know that Rob and his father have suffered through a tragedy, but I didn’t learn much more about them beyond that. As a result, I didn’t really bond with them. I felt the same way about Sistine. She’s a flashy character in the way she ...more
Henry Martin
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have been a huge fan of Kate DiCamillo's writing for a long time, often comparing some aspects of her children's books to literary fiction. This book, while not her best, did not disappoint.

As usual in DiCamillo's longer works, there is a dark side to this tale of a boy whose mother recently passed away, whose father works as a maintenance man at a run-down motel, and whose inner pain is so strong that it causes his legs to sprout blisters.

DiCamillo takes this boy, Rob, and makes me want to
Linda Hart
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
She is such a talented writer. This is a short story....2 hour audio book.
The Tiger Rising is the story of two very sad and broken children, and how they are saved by a tiger, but not at all in the way you would expect. This story broke my heart. There's something about the way DiCamillo writes that touches my deepest emotions. I don't know if I can explain how or why, but it's as if I feel the stories, instead of reading them. It's some strange retro-childhood cathartic experience that makes me want to cry myself clean, as if my child-tears could wash away all the st ...more
This was hard to put down. It's a very poignant story with raw and complex emotions dealing with intense grief and anger. I am a big fan of Kate DiCamillo's books. She has a way with words and symbolisms that makes a story beautiful to me. Although this was a gripping middle grade read with a beautiful, redeeming plot, I would give caution to some. It's not a book that will be loved by all, but it is a book that I feel many readers will find hope and peace in their own lives, once they turn the ...more
Mr. Gottshalk
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was like the people of northern New Jersey: tough, short and complicated. It was a bit depressing throughout, with tinged of hope around the edges. I've read it four time as a read-aloud for 4th graders, and it's getting better each time. A lot of different ways to read this, and it's like a non-stinky onion with lots of layers. ...more
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-ya-kids, owned
I loved this book. It is a very short read, but in that time I went from anger, sadness, to hope. My 7 year old daughter actually picked this up on the clearance shelf and read it before I did, and she loved it as well, which surprised me because it is sad, and the subject matter heavy, and it isn't about a Tiger (which is what drew her to it originally). I guess sometimes we don't give our young readers enough credit for their ability to empathize and see the beauty in such "real" novels.

A full
The Dusty Jacket
Jan 16, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
He took a breath. He opened his mouth and let the words fall out. “I know where there’s a tiger.” Sistine stood in the drizzly rain and stared at him, her eyes black and fierce. She didn’t say “A real one?” She didn’t say “Are you crazy?” She didn’t say “You’re a big old liar.” She said one word: “Where?” And Rob knew then that he had picked the right person to tell.

Rob Horton was the best no-crier in the world. That was due in large part to his way of not-thinking about things: his mother’s dea
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Sadness,” said Willie May, closing her eyes and nodding her head. “You keep all that sadness down low, in your legs. You not letting it get up to your heart, where it belongs. You got to let that sadness rise on up.”
I wish Kate DiCamillo’s books had existed when I was a child. I read some fun books as a kid but not many that would stick with me throughout my lifetime. Kate DiCamillo would have satisfied the kid version of me who was looki
Nathan Helton
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The tiger rising is a great book that shows how rob goes through all of these events with a tiger.He meets a girl named Sistine.Rob keeps all of his emotions down and feelings down ,but Sistine puts them out their for the whole entire world to see.When rob has to make a decision to let the tiger go or just to let it be.And if he does let it go what will happen to it?
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Kate DiCamillo could be my favorite or second-favorite children's book author. I love her deeply flawed yet lovable characters. Tiger Rising has two children, both with troubles, who against the odds become friends. ...more
Caroline D'cruz
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is the first book I have read by Kate DiCamillo. Took to reading this one for my Nephew as it's an ongoing novel read at his school. Though the book is well written with each character played out well, I just feel that the book fell a bit heavy on emotion in the end for a children's book. I just feel that from a child point of veiw it's a bit hard to digest all that lose and grief.

On a lighter note the book also talks of a very loving bond between a father and son after the death of the bo
Sarah Booth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I gave this book 4 stars, because it was really good, but there was a sad ending in the book, and there was a sassy character in the book. Also I thought it was good, because it had a lot of detail, and it was very interesting, and it was hard to stop reading.
Oct 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another beautifully-written book by Kate DiCamillo, this time about pent up feelings of grief and loss. There are some dark themes in this book, but they are presented in such a loving and understanding way that you really feel for the characters.
Jan 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily Housworth
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
With the slow-moving plot, bland narrator, southern setting, sad ending, repressed dad, and dead mom, I’m shocked this didn’t win a Newberry Medal. That being said, Sistine is awesome. (Though the audiobook narrator read her horribly. He made her tone sound completely bratty all the time. Not a fan!)
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Children's Stories About Grief, Family & Friendship
Like her earlier work, Because of Winn-Dixie , which was awarded a Newbery Honor in 2001, this slim children's novel is set in Florida, and follows the story of a young person coping with an absent mother and a distant father. In The Tiger Rising, Rob Horton, still reeling from the death of his mother, and recently moved to a new town, is confronted with bullying at his new school. His father, also deeply bereaved, has made it very clear that Rob is not to express his grief, not to cry. Then ...more
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This is so deliberate with metaphor that it’s almost ponderous with it. It has its moments, but it isn’t long enough to make it out from under that weight.

Bonus points for a literal Chekhov’s gun, though: the crashing end to the fantasy element in this book made me wish for something less metaphorical about grief, because there was something so raw and empty about it. That distance makes me wonder if maybe this was DiCamillo’s suitcase - a novel version reflecting the characters themselves.
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, 2020
3.5 Stars

I read this with my nine-year-old son, and he liked it better than Because of Winn Dixie, which he read with his class in school. I love seeing him develop his reading tastes! The writing in this book is beautiful, and even though I found the extended metaphor to be a bit obvious or "on the nose," I think for the targeted audience, it is perfect. Highly recommended to read with the 8-12 kiddos!
Leah Jay
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Of course I am going to give this five stars, it's by my favorite author. But if I could, I might have given it a 4. 8, just because it might have been my least favorite of her books.

What I really like about this story is that there is a lot of character development in this book, with very important life lessons.

I also related to Rob in away I've never related to a character before: his itchy legs. My entire life I have never been able to stop the scratching. No medicine, no

I should preface this by saying that I usually love Kate DiCamillo. Although the book was very short, the characters were well developed. Here's the kicker for me: it read like a school book. Let's all talk about the tiger's death and whether it had to happen. Should Rob have done anything differently? etc. The setting is a little strange, almost like the book is set in a bubble. I don't mind this-- it gives it a timeless quality that many classic children's books have-- but it makes
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Kate DiCamillo, the newly named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2014–2015, says about stories, “When we read together, we connect. Together, we see the world. Together, we see one another.” Born in Philadelphia, the author lives in Minneapolis, where she faithfully writes two pages a day, five days a week.

Kate DiCamillo's own journey is something of a dream come true. After

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