What It Is About: When twelve year old Rob finds a caged tiger in the woods, he isn't sure what to do or to think. As he is contemplating this dilemma, he meets Sistine; the new girl in town. Rob is quiet and shares nothing with people. Sistine is the opposite and sometimes shares too much. These two children would not be expected to bond; let alone become close friends, but that is exactly what they do. Each has secrets, heartache, and a story that is struggling to be released into the world. Rob and Sistine rely on each other to not only help this captured animal, but to also learn how they can "rise" into the world and be better people for it.
What I Thought Of It: It always amazes me how different each of Kate DiCamillo's novels are. This one stands out on its own. I enjoyed listening to the narration of the story and was easily drawn into the worlds of Rob and Sistine. On the surface it may seem like a tiger "rescue" story, but it is so much more than that. Kate did a beautiful job of using the tiger as a metaphor for all the things that Rob has experienced in his life with his father. The cast of characters were incredible as they usually are with a DiCamillo story. Everything about this story was top-notch, but I would expect nothing else from the author of this caliber.
Who Should Read It: I know this novel is used with the Calkins Reading Units of Study. It is slotted to be with the fourth grade unit, but could easily be used with third and fifth graders. The book is short as are the chapters; allowing all readers to be successful with it. If you are looking for a shorter read aloud choice, this would be perfect. Happy Reading!
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars