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The Tiger Rising

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  19,127 ratings  ·  2,320 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
Paperback, 128 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by Candlewick Press (first published 2001)
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Popular Answered Questions
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!
Sam Flynn It is a fantasy. I think that the tiger even living in Florida is stupid.

Community Reviews

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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  19,127 ratings  ·  2,320 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
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
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
Aug 19, 2009 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
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
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
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?
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.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, animals
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.
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.

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
Jan 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: k-fic-post1948
setting: Kentucky Star Motel which is in rural Florida

This is a short story. True, it's 116 pages, but there aren't many words per page, and the story reads quickly and wraps up neatly, without 'wasting' words on tangents. AND, the school is populated by bullies. I'm not a fan of short stories, and I don't like reading about cruelty.

That said, the story moves along quickly and keeps the readers' attention while dealing with tough topics (bullies, death, divorce, life lessons). Both kids are ende
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
Isabella Cuevas
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I liked it because the book was very described by that i mean you can really picture what was going on.
Aaron Wallace
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a awsome book and it was very well written.It was a little hard to figure out that they were in florida.But over all great book.This is one of the best books i have ever read
Cynthia Egbert
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
I may have to go ahead and purchase this one for my own library. I swear that Kate DiCamillo must have spent some time reading Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings as this book has such a sense of some of Rawlings work, it is even set in Florida. And, of course, there is Blake because there is a tiger and I am gonna fall head over heels in love with a wee girl who quotes Blake and is named Sistine, for the chapel. If someone did the audiobook of this one and had Bach playing as the intro music, I might just ...more
Maile Adams
I thought this book was very interesting. It had a lot of unexpected things in the book that I would not have expected. For me, this book was kind of hard to understand. One thing would lead to the next and sometimes I would just get lost in the book. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in action books.

This book was about a boy named Rob who was wandering along in the forest one day and spotted a tiger in a cage. That same day he met this girl who happened to be in the forest as we
Kadynce Pittman
I think that this is a good book and i didn't know that Robs dad was going to kill the tiger.But he killed the tiger for a reason because who knows what that tiger would do to them he could have attacked them and my favorite part of the book is when wille may said " you got to let the hapieness rise on up".
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I rate this book 5 stars because there is just so much stuff in this book that makes you never want to stop reading. There's so much drama and you really get to know the characters. I loved it so much and the characters do some things out of character. It truly is a great book.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this novel. It's beautifully written, but it's also a really fantastic vehicle for helping struggling readers practice with metaphor and symbolism in a way that is approachable without offending them in the process by making it too simplistic.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The teacher read this book to my class before in 3rd grade I think. I really liked the book because it was super interesting.
Jun 25, 2018 added it
I read this book in the 4th grade!!! It’s been a while 😶
Kris Patrick
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A book that gets better with each reading.

Now that I know Kate DiCamillo's process, I appreciate her work that much more. She rewrites each draft from memory!

Apr 28, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is short and cute. I only have it 3 stars instead of 4 because I didn't love the ending. I prefer happy endings.
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, 2019, fiction
This book came to me highly recommended as a young adult novel to read to my classses. My students loved it. It had some great characters, imagery, action, realistic situations, and themes that they could relate to. DiCamillo's writing made a good exemplar for the students as well. It might be considered a children's book, but I think it's more appropriate for middle grades and older.

The main character is 12 year old Rob who lives in the Kentucky Star Motel because his dad works there. One morni
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Around the Year i...: The Tiger Rising, by Kate DiCamillo 1 8 Nov 01, 2018 07:10AM  
IRP 1 3 Mar 18, 2018 09:05AM  
Tiger Rising by K...: 1-19-17 Discussion Question #1 3 3 Feb 02, 2017 11:02AM  
Tiger Rising by K...: 1-19-17 Discussion Question #2 3 3 Feb 02, 2017 11:01AM  
Tiger Rising by K...: 1-19-17 Discussion Question #3 1 3 Jan 18, 2017 01:43PM  
2017 Reading Chal...: K.D. 1 13 Nov 01, 2015 04:09PM  

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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
“Her words sounded the way all those things made him feel, as if the world, the real world, had been punched through, so that he could see something wonderful and dazzling on the other side of it.” 7 likes
“tiger” 2 likes
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