Rob and his father moved to a new town after Rob's mother died. It's not a good transition - he's sad about his mother's death, he suffers from an irritating rash all over his legs, and some local kids bully him mercilessly. When Sistine arrives in town, Rob finds a friend who is also suffering. Sistine's parents have recently separated and she misses her dad terribly.
Neither Sistine nor Rob fit in.
Both Sistine and Rob are having trouble adjusting to their new circumstances.
It's odd to think that discovering a caged tiger in the woods would be just the thing to help both kids begin to deal with their situations, but that's just what happened.
Tiger Rising isn't an easy story to read. It does not have a traditional happy ending. But, it does help me make a connection to how we can rely on friends to deal with difficult times. And it reminds me that sharing feelings with a friend can make them a little easier to bear. Those are some pretty good life lessons.
If you are looking for a story to connect to your feelings about change or the importance of finding a good friend, check out this short novel from Kate DiCamillo. We have a few copies in our Room 204 library.