The Tiger Rising

tigerrisingIt’s hard to believe that only a few months ago I’d never read Kate DiCamillo. Shameful, I know. Where my reading was life once bereft and shallow, it is now filled with the works of this wonderfully inventive writer. And ‘Tiger Rising’ is as good as it gets; a punchy, powerful book that transcends any notion of a children’s book being something light or fluffy or, for that matter, fitting only for children.

Set in deepest Florida, the story follows Rob Horton – still grieving for his mother, suffering at the hands of the the school bullies, living in poverty and afflicted with a chronic skin condition, young Rob has it tough. His grief is locked deep inside, packed down in a metaphorical suitcase, never opened for fear of what would burst forth. Then, everything changes. Continue reading

Reading Log (2015): Part Two

Once by Morris Gleitzman/The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

once

I read Once and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in close succession. Both books deal with the Holocaust and both manage to communicate the unimaginable realities of life under Nazi rule to a younger audience. Of the two, I found Once the more convincing and the better book.  It manages to remain realistic and plausible whereas the very premise of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a narrative device which Theboyinthestripedpyjamasfeels a stretch too far (a boy in a concentration camp is supposedly able to move freely about the camp, freely enough to allow him to regularly speak to his German friend, Bruno, on the other side). Nevertheless, both are extraordinarily powerful, moving and important books. Continue reading