There's a kind of magic in this book that goes beyond the sum of its parts: a coming-of-age story; an #ownvoices narrative of loss, grief, and triumph; and a modern folktale all in one. When You Trap a Tiger has a strong girl lead who's brave, complex, and diligent, and a strong representation and depiction of Korean American home life, culture, and traditions. There's mystery, intrigue, and plenty of reasons to race through the pages. The writing is fast, genuine, and rich, and there are plenty of references to Korean and American folklore. By the end, it isn't merely a story of losing family, but a story about what happens when you keep the stories of others alive, stories of people, family, difficulty, success, tragedy, and the future. In a way, it's a kind of new folktale that merges old ideas with modern ones, blends Korean mythology with modern American folklore, and achieves a kind of beauty all its own. Subtle nods to Where the Wild Things Are, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, and Goodnight Moon appear in Lily's remembering of Halmoni's Korean folklore stories, creating a kind of meta-narrative where this novel is doing what its story is about. When You Trap a Tiger shows how you can make new stories and new folklore your own. Be aware, though: It packs a serious emotional punch.