When You Trap a Tiger
A hopeful, heartwarming story of a girl discovering her family's past and present when she makes a deal with a magical tiger from her grandmother's stories . . . Some stories refuse to stay bottled up...When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni's Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now, the tigers want it back. And when one of those tigers offers Lily a deal--return what Halmoni stole in exchange for Halmoni's health--Lily is tempted to accept. But deals with tigers are never what they seem! With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice... and the courage to face a tiger.Tae Keller, the award-winning author of The Science of Breakable Things, shares a sparkling tale about the power of stories and the magic of family.Think Walk Two Moons meets Where the Mountain Meets the Moon!

When You Trap a Tiger Details

TitleWhen You Trap a Tiger
Author
ReleaseJan 28th, 2020
PublisherRandom House Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139781524715700
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade

When You Trap a Tiger Review

  • Lorie Barber
    January 1, 1970
    I was in a bit of a reading slump when this book came to me from the publisher via a member of my reading group. I’ll be forever grateful that it did. You never know what a book will truly be for you until you read it. It might give you the gift of humor. It might show you the world in a new way. Or it might help heal a part of you that is broken. Sure, I could describe When You Trap a Tiger as MG magical realism. But when a book acts as a window and a mirror (Sims Bishop, 1990) simultaneously, I was in a bit of a reading slump when this book came to me from the publisher via a member of my reading group. I’ll be forever grateful that it did. You never know what a book will truly be for you until you read it. It might give you the gift of humor. It might show you the world in a new way. Or it might help heal a part of you that is broken. Sure, I could describe When You Trap a Tiger as MG magical realism. But when a book acts as a window and a mirror (Sims Bishop, 1990) simultaneously, well, that’s something quite special. I know very little about Korean culture, and nothing about the folktales within. I loved hearing the stories of the gods and myths of Korean folklore, and of the quiet inner strength of the Korean women. What heroes they were and are. This book made me want to read more about Korea so that its “single story” - in my brain, at least - doesn’t come from a 70s TV show. As for the mirror, I lost my grama 3 years ago this month, and my sweet mom almost exactly a year later. September is a rough time for me. As Keller writes (and I paraphrase): the sadness may lessen, but the missing never does. My mom & grama were complicated: fierce, brave women, but also often scared and closed off. I saw them as the latter as they were dying, but this book showed me their bravery in a whole new light. Thank you, Tae Keller, for this remarkable book. Ironically, this site has us rate books with stars. But this story is from the stars; thus, I’d rate it infinitely.
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  • Ava Budavari
    January 1, 1970
    A gorgeous story about grief, ancestry, family and love, When You Trap A Tiger is a beautiful middle fade you won’t want to miss. The writing is stunning and the story will touch anyone of any age deeply. Pick up your copy on January 28, 2020.
  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    Because of her Korean grandmother's illness, Lily, her older sister Sam, and her mother come to stay with her in her Sunbeam, Washington, home. Lily adores her Halmoni and the stories she tells, and she becomes convinced that making a deal with a tiger, one of the characters from those stories, will help save the ailing woman's life. After all, she has learned that her grandmother stole stories from the tigers long ago, capturing them in bottles. But as she meets with the tiger, her grandmother Because of her Korean grandmother's illness, Lily, her older sister Sam, and her mother come to stay with her in her Sunbeam, Washington, home. Lily adores her Halmoni and the stories she tells, and she becomes convinced that making a deal with a tiger, one of the characters from those stories, will help save the ailing woman's life. After all, she has learned that her grandmother stole stories from the tigers long ago, capturing them in bottles. But as she meets with the tiger, her grandmother at first seems to rally but then to fail, and it clears that her deal with the tiger won't do much good after all. Tackling grief, loss, family dynamics, and cultural heritage, this book blends beautifully present day circumstances with folktales or family stories and traditions passed down from one generation to the next. I appreciated how Lily is not perfect and makes some big mistakes, and how real the conflict between Sam and her mother seems to be, just as the girls' own mother once had strong disagreements with Halmoni. Still, even with these differences, there is much love. And as most of us have come to realize, just like Sam and Lily, while the sadness over losing someone we love does fade, we never stop missing them and their stories, told in the inimitable way only they can tell them or live them. Readers will need a box of tissues nearby as they read the last 20 pages of this book. It's clear that Halmoni has been an important part of her community even while others didn't always understand her ways. It's hard not to hope and wish that the tiger can restore Halmoni's health and that there will be a happy ending, but that isn't to be. Still, Lily is no longer that QAG (Quiet Asian Girl) her sister deemed her; she's finally found her voice and her presence.
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  • Kristin Crouch
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the author for sharing a review copy with Collabookation.There is so much love in this story, it kept me fulfilled all the way through. Lily, her mom, and her big sister have just unexpectedly up and moved in with Halmoni (the Korean word for grandma). Lily treasures time with her Halmoni, and they bond over Korean tales. But when Lily starts seeing the tiger her Halmoni has always warned her about, she realizes that some stories can take hold of us. This book is about lots of Thank you to the author for sharing a review copy with Collabookation.There is so much love in this story, it kept me fulfilled all the way through. Lily, her mom, and her big sister have just unexpectedly up and moved in with Halmoni (the Korean word for grandma). Lily treasures time with her Halmoni, and they bond over Korean tales. But when Lily starts seeing the tiger her Halmoni has always warned her about, she realizes that some stories can take hold of us. This book is about lots of difficult stuff: Lily's father died years ago and the family is still struggling with grief, Halmoni is aging and ailing, Lily's mother is searching for a job nearby so they can stay to close to help Halmoni, Lily is noticing her sister pulling away from her, and Lily is feeling invisible. But the most fascinating part of how this book is written is how Keller infuses all these situations with the love that pervades strong families. I've read many middle grade books about grief lately, and all are well done. But When You Trap a Tiger is the most optimistic, the most hopeful of them. After all, we cannot have good without bad, we cannot have happiness without sadness. This balance of emotions is well characterized in When You Trap a Tiger, and I closed the book thinking of my own Grandma. Our time together was cut way too short, but the happiness and love infused in those years was pure and wonderful. This book may help readers understand that it's the moments we spend with those we love that matter most.
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  • Cassie Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    “Why does hope always come at a price?” Lily, her mom, and sister move in with her sick halmoni (grandmother) without fully understanding the meaning behind why they had to pack up and leave their lives. When a tiger starts appearing to Lily, she suddenly realizes there is a lot more to her Halmoni and her illness that what she truly understood. The tiger offers Lily a deal, one of which promises to heal her Halmoni - but Lily has grown up hearing her Halmoni’s stories of how not to believe the “Why does hope always come at a price?” Lily, her mom, and sister move in with her sick halmoni (grandmother) without fully understanding the meaning behind why they had to pack up and leave their lives. When a tiger starts appearing to Lily, she suddenly realizes there is a lot more to her Halmoni and her illness that what she truly understood. The tiger offers Lily a deal, one of which promises to heal her Halmoni - but Lily has grown up hearing her Halmoni’s stories of how not to believe the tigers. Lily realizes she has to face this tiger with any hope of saving her grandmother, all while making new friends, building her relationship with her mom and sister, and uncovering stories full of truth. Our January 28, 2020 - this is a story to share and understand folktales in the classroom. This is a story your children will fall in love with. The magical realism, the adventure, and uncertainty.
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  • Katie Reilley
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the author & publisher for sharing an ARC with our #bookexpedition group! Lily and her mother and sister are leaving their California home behind to move in with her sick grandmother (Halmoni) in the state of Washington. After years of listening to warning stories about tigers, a magical tiger just like the ones from her Halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives and offers Lily a deal that may help her grandmother. But Lily knows that tigers can’t be trusted and has a difficult choice Thank you to the author & publisher for sharing an ARC with our #bookexpedition group! Lily and her mother and sister are leaving their California home behind to move in with her sick grandmother (Halmoni) in the state of Washington. After years of listening to warning stories about tigers, a magical tiger just like the ones from her Halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives and offers Lily a deal that may help her grandmother. But Lily knows that tigers can’t be trusted and has a difficult choice to make. Excellent author letter to the reader at the start of the book, and beautiful author’s note after the story ends.With themes of courage, family bonds, and finding your voice, this will be a hit in middle grade classrooms when it publishes in January of 2020.
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  • Laurie
    January 1, 1970
    WHEN YOU TRAP A TIGER is a special book, brimming with love, insight, and magic. I’m so moved and inspired by this extraordinary novel and the way it explores Korean stories, grief, courage, and hope. It has well-developed characters, flashes of humor, and a deftly woven plot. It’s very different from Tae Keller’s first novel (which I also loved!), but it’s just as effortlessly readable and sensitively observed. Tae Keller is such a smart, thoughtful writer, and this is an incredible book.
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  • Amber Webb
    January 1, 1970
    An incredibly touching story of family, bravery, magic, story, culture and change, When You Trap a Tiger will touch your soul and make you look for magic in every moment. I promise you will never listen to a story the same again.Tae Keller tells a beautiful story of Korean culture and the theory of stories through a family of strong, brave women. Wow...just amazing! Didn’t want the story to be over.
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  • Feeki
    January 1, 1970
    I finished it with tears in my eyes. Sad and happy tears. This book reminds me of experiences that I wish I could block and bury deep (but I still find myself dwell on them often.) And this story says gently to me, that healing is about understanding and accepting; and facing the whole story, bad ones and good ones, is part of that healing, too.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Magical tigers, stories trapped in jars, and journeys towards self-discovery and letting go. I loved this book!
  • Tory
    January 1, 1970
    I'm just not a magical realism person. This story confused and frustrated me. There's a good heart here but it's not the book for me.
  • Rose
    January 1, 1970
    Rating is more what my middle school self would have given this rather than my adult self. I'm so happy that these books are being written. The representation is so, so good.
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