|When you trap a tiger|
Author: Keller, Tae
When Lily, her sister Sam, and their mother move in with her sick grandmother, Lily traps a tiger and makes a deal with him to heal Halmoni.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.10
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 506132
Newbery Medal, 2021
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 11/01/2019 *Starred Review* If stories were written in the stars and guarded by tigers, this wondrous tale would be one of the brightest. Lily is happy when she, her mom, and sister, Sam, move, because it means they will spend more time with their grandmother, their halmoni, whose life is full of magic. Halmoni has always told beautiful stories about clever sisters and equally clever tigers—not to be trusted—but Lily soon finds that life is not how she expected it to be. Sam isn’t so happy about the move, and worse, Halmoni is very sick, so when a tiger appears to Lily, offering her a deal, she thinks it could be what saves her grandmother. Lily’s magical-realist world, rooted in Korean folklore, will envelop readers as she deals with growing up and—at times—apart from her sister, finding new friends, and coping with her grandmother's illness. Keller’s characters—from Halmoni, who dresses up to go grocery shopping, to Sam, who hides her own heartbreaks—will have readers wishing they were real. Every chapter is filled with a richness and magic that demands every word be treasured, a heartfelt reminder of the wonder and beauty in our everyday lives. Readers young and old will want to trap this story in a jar forever. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2020 Gr 4–7—Lily has always loved her halmoni's stories; Korean folktales that begin, "long, long ago, when tiger walked like a man." But Lily never expected to encounter the fierce magical tiger in her sick grandmother's basement, or to strike a deal to heal Halmoni by releasing the powerful stories she stole as a young woman. Keller illuminates Lily's desperation to heal Halmoni and bring her family together through the tiger stories interspersed throughout the book; stories of heroism and self-sacrifice, of sisterhood and bravery. Yet the book's greatest strength is in its complex human characters, from Halmoni whose traumatic immigration story spurs her to unite her community through kindness and herbal remedies, to Lily's prickly older sister Sam, whose grief and fear stirred up by Halmoni's illness exists alongside a budding romance with a new girlfriend. Lily worries about her invisibility and living up to the "quiet Asian girl" stereotype she hates, but she doesn't know how else to cope with her volatile teenage sister or her mother's need to pretend that everything is okay, despite the weight of family trauma past and present. Keller weaves ancient folklore with Korean history through contemporary magical realism. She calls on the power of stories to bring families and communities together and the ability to heal by speaking to their pasts. VERDICT This deeply moving book is a must-purchase for all collections, showcasing vulnerable and mythic storytelling in the vein of Erin Entrada Kelly and Kacen Callender.—Molly Saunders, Manatee County Public Libraries, Bradenton, FL - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.