A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Judy Blume's young-adult novel Tiger Eyes focuses on a family's struggle to recover emotionally after a family member is murdered by armed robbers. The book is narrated by 15-year-old Davey, who is dealing with her own normal growing-up issues as well as her grief. In addition to describing a horrifically violent event, the book addresses issues surrounding safety and gun control, and the morality of countries building bombs. Tiger Eyes also depicts teens abusing alcohol and an adult who uses prescription pain killers. Teen characters kiss passionately but remain clothed. Tiger Eyes was made into an award-winning 2012 film.
What's the story?
TIGER EYES is told from the point of view of a 15-year-old girl named Davey, who is grieving for a family member murdered in an armed robbery. When the book opens, she is dressing for a funeral. Davey stays in bed; she stops eating and doesn't want to start school in the fall. When her stress level starts to cause panic attacks and fainting, her doctor suggests that a change of scene might help. Her family then decamps to Los Alamos, N.M., to visit Davey's aunt and uncle. Once they're settled in the Southwest, Davey's mom begins to fall apart, while Davey makes a few friends and deals with normal teenage issues as well as her grief. All the family needs time and support to face their sadness and anger, and move on to the next stage of their lives. Tiger Eyes was made into a film that was shown in several regional film festivals in spring 2012.
Is it any good?
Tiger Eyes is a powerful and emotional novel about grief and recovery. Davey describes the heavy issues affecting her, and regular growing-up struggles, in an articulate but believable way. In general, Blume shows just the right amount of restraint in writing this book for young adults: There's enough detail about the violent events to make a huge impact without giving young readers more than they can handle. The author also treats other issues that are important to her characters -- sexuality, alcohol and drug use, safety vs. independence -- with great sensitivity and realism. Of all of Blume's novels about growing up, Tiger Eyes may be the most tender and the most true to life.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Davey feels in the book. Why does Wolf become so important to her? How does she begin to feel better?
How does Tiger Eyes compare with other young-adult Judy Blume books you've read?
Does this book take a stand on gun control? What are the pros and cons of having personal weapons?
- Author: Judy Blume
- Genre: Family Life
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, High School
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Random House
- Publication date: September 1, 1981
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 224
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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