Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo

Things to gather for this Book club meeting:
Pictures of the Sistine chapel.
Pocket knife and permission from parents
Bar of soap for each boy.
(Check out whittling books from library for examples, pictures, safety tips and ideas. You could ask around and see if any Scout leaders in your area know how to whittle this is an achievement for BEARS in cub scouts.- have them come and demonstrate. I am not a whittling expert so I am going to do this.)
Mac-n-cheese for snack
Reward for the incentive game: gum balls. (In the book they talk about "eight ball gum".)

Set up an obstacle course- could be a simple route as run around the mailbox and back or as complex as you would like with props. Have the boys run through the course and back- first three get to answer questions and win a gumball if they answer right. If they answer wrong... another boy can answer and win a gum ball. Ask three questions and set them off running again. Repeat until all questions are asked. (Make it so all the boys have a chance to answer questions. That might mean, making the fastest 3 boys sit out on the last few runs.)

Where does Rob Horton live? In a Hotel/motel
What is the name of the hotel? Kentucky Star
Why is it named that? It is named after a horse the owner once had.
Why does Sistine dress the way she does?
Bullies- how does Rob deal with bullies?- he doesn't fight back, he waits for them to get bored and leave him alone or he runs.
How does Sistine deal with bullies?- She fights them, sometimes she even starts the fights first.
What does Robs father think he should do? fight back
What would you do?
Why does Rob and his father eat Mac-n-cheese a lot? Robs mom died and that is about all his father knows how to cook.
Why does Rob get kicked out of school? the rash on his legs.
What kind of jobs does Rob do around the Motel? Sweeping, cleaning up, weeding, feeding the tiger...
Who is Willie May? Motel housekeeper
How does Willie May explain the rash on Robs legs? sadness bottled up inside
What is Sistine secret? Why is she mad all the time? Her father left her and her mother.
What is Robs "suitcase"? What does he keep inside it?= He bottles up all his feelings, keeps all his feelings inside- like packing them inside a suitcase so he won't feel ...sad.. or happy.
Sistine was willing to do what to miss school? Rub her hands on Robs legs and try to catch his rash. What would you do?
Why doesn't Rob wish on stars? He's afraid he starts wishing... he'll never be able to stop.
What are some things Rob is sad about? His mom dying, his rash, moving, not having friends, any thoughtful answer is right.
Beauchamp didn't name the tiger- what would you name it? or Would you name it? any answer is correct.
Willie May describes Sistine and Rob by emotions... what two emotions? Angry and sorrow What emotion would she use to describe you?
What did Willie May mean- when she said the Tiger rising up out of the cage and how Robs sadness needed to rise up out of his legs. What do you think that means? Rob needs to let the hurt go... and so he thinks he needs to let the tiger go too.
What happened to the tiger in the end of the book? Rob's dad shot it.

Now that the boys are good and tired- let them chew their gum. (I wouldn't let them chew it while running the course- they might choke.)

Sit the boys down and talk about Whittling.
Stress the importance of listening and following instructions while using the pocket knives.
Let the boys work on their soap or wood.

Mac n cheese
You can talk more about the book while they snack.
Show them the pictures of the Sistine Chapel. Did they know what that was before?

Talk about topics mentioned in the book: Boys might not want to talk about their feeling-
or bullies. But this might be a good opportunity to help boys see their options if they have ever been bullied.


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