TIGER’S FALL by Molly Bang


Age Range: 9 - 12
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Set in Mexico, this tear-inducing tale tells the story of an 11-year-old girl’s physical and mental recovery after falling out of a tree. “Your daughter broke her back and is paralyzed from the waist down,” the doctor coldly tells Lupe’s shocked, grieving parents. “There is nothing more to be done.” And so begins Lupe’s heart-wrenching journey from despair and helplessness to acceptance and competence. After nearly dying from an infected pressure sore, Lupe is sent to a residential rehabilitation center. In her first novel, Bang’s (Harley, p. 414, etc.) simple, matter-of-fact language allows the reader to see the real nitty-gritty of Lupe’s situation without being too graphic. “The pressure sore on Lupe’s back wasn’t pretty. It was full of pus and blood and it was oozing around the edges.” As Lupe begins to recover physically, her ferocious spirit—her family moniker is Tigrilla Loca, or Crazy Little Tiger—does too. Her initial act of self-directed behavior comes when she cleans and dresses an open sore on an injured donkey, utilizing the knowledge she gleaned from her own treatment. It’s a major turning point for Lupe, the first time she’s felt capable since her injury. Lupe is soon given the job of helping a severely disabled youngster and realizes that the ability to help someone else is a gift, not a gift she would have selected over having the use of her legs, but a gift nevertheless. Unsentimental yet moving, Bang’s story lets the reader see and feel what it might be like to be in Lupe’s shoes. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8050-6689-6
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2001


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