Monday, March 29, 2021

Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry - OPTIONAL

Tigers, Not Daughters
by Samantha Mabry
, 277 pages. CENTERING ME. Algonquin Young Readers (Algonquin Books), 2020. $11.

Language: R (31 swears, 39 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13



Ana and her sisters planned to run away together -- they almost made it once -- but Ana’s death changed her sisters. Without their leader, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa have retreated into new roles and parts to play in the house they are stuck in. But Ana doesn’t want her sisters to continue this way, and it’s up to the sisters to work together and figure out what Ana’s ghost wants for them.

Grief is difficult and different for everyone; Ana’s three sisters cope by retreating into themselves and playing the roles they perceived necessary. They struggle as individuals and then learn to rise together through both the weight of their sister’s death and their individual challenges. Mabry has written a story that feels significant. I can imagine English teachers asking their students to analyze what’s going on in this book, but I feel like I missed it. Something more is going on; the climax had more power than I understood. Maybe I’ll have to read it again to figure it out. The mature content rating is for underage drinking, groping, partial nudity, and mentions of sex. The violence rating is for mentions of death and suicide and for blood.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

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