Reviews for Tears of a Tiger


Horn Book Guide Reviews 1995
Written in the form of conversations, journals, letters, and homework assignments, the book contains students' reactions to a high school basketball star's death in an automobile accident. Similar in format to Avi's [cf2]Nothing but the Truth[cf1] (Orchard), the book is occasionally awkward, but it is intense and truthful in its exploration of suicide, drinking, and other potent issues. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1996 January #3
A high school basketball star struggles with guilt and depression following the drunk-driving accident that killed his best friend. Short chapters and alternating viewpoints provide "raw energy and intense emotion," said PW. Ages 12-up. (Feb.) Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1994 October #5
Draper's ambitious first novel tackles teenage drinking, suicidal depression and other front-page topics-and relates the action through dialogue or compositions ``by'' the characters. Exuberant after a high-school basketball victory, athletic stars Andy and Robert down a few beers with friends and then ride around in Andy's car. When Robert is killed in an expressway accident, Andy assumes what turns out to be an unbearable burden of guilt. Short chapters in the form of newspaper articles, diary entries and school writing assignments telegraph the community's reactions and Andy's own feelings; these latter are amplified through Andy's conversations with his coach, with his girlfriend and-poignantly-with the psychologist his concerned parents send him to. This quick-cutting, MTV-like approach allows insights into a number of different viewpoints, ranging from Andy's wrenching internal monologues to the ghastly perkiness of the school's ``grief counselor.'' Casting most of the protagonists as African American, Draper also makes some telling (though not terribly new) points about race and racism. Though the issue-oriented plot can get a bit preachy, the combination of raw energy and intense emotion should stimulate readers. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1995 February
Gr 9 Up?A hard-hitting story of the unraveling of a young black man who was the drunk driver in an accident that killed his best friend. Andy cannot bear his guilt or reach out for help, and chapter by chapter his disintegration builds to inevitable suicide. Counselors, coaches, friends, and family all fail him. The story is artfully told through English class assignments, including poetry; dialogues; police and newspaper reports; and letters. From time to time, the author veers off into overt lessons on racial issues, but aside from this flaw the characters' voices are strong, vivid, and ring true. This moving novel will leave a deep impression.?Kathy Fritts, Jesuit High School, Portland, OR

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