The Tiger Rising
"It seemed as if the tiger was a magic trick, rising out of the mist." It's six months since Rob's mum died and he moved to Florida. His dad won't talk about her at all. "Crying ain't going to bring her back," he says. So Rob fills a suitcase in his mind with all his forbidden thoughts - the rash on his legs, the bullies at school - and keeps it tight shut. But when he finds a caged tiger deep in the woods, his whole life begins to change. That same day he meets Sistine Bailey, another outsider who's bullied at school. She says they must set the tiger free - and when Rob imagines the tiger rising out of its cage, his suitcase begins to open...
Kate DiCamillo lived in the South of the USA for much of her childhood and studied at the University of Florida. She writes for children and adults and is the author of the highly acclaimed novel Because of Winn-Dixie. She says of this book, "Rob Horton showed up in a short story I was writing and hung around for weeks afterwards. Finally I said to him, 'What in the world do you want?' And he said, 'I know where there's a tiger.' Like Sistine, I said one word back to him, 'Where?' The Tiger Rising is how Rob Horton answered me."