When You Trap A Tiger

When You Trap A Tiger

Book - 2020 | First edition.
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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.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2020]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781524715700
Branch Call Number: J KELLER
Characteristics: 297 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Would you make a deal with a magical tiger? This uplifting story brings Korean folklore to life as a girl goes on a quest to unlock the power of stories and save her grandmother. (Grades 4-7)

Would you make a deal with a magical tiger? This uplifting story brings Korean folklore to life as a girl goes on a quest to unlock the power of stories and save her grandmother. (Grades 4-7)

A fantastic story about a girl learning to deal with the loss of her beloved grandmother, it is about the blending of generations, the blending of cultures, and the blending of magic, myth, and reality. Will the tiger heal Lily's Halmoni?

Moving with her parents into the home of her sick grandmother, young Lily forges a complicated pact with a magical tiger, in a story inspired by Korean folktales.

From the critics

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Apr 29, 2021

I absolutely loved the book. It dealt with such a heavy and serious topic, yet still managing to weave Korean folktales and magic. The way Lilly’s desperation and grief where written made her feel so real, just like a girl who was lost, confused, and sad. We also see so much development in Sam and their mom, who at the beginning seemed so one-sided, but soon became much more complex. I also loved halmoni. She very much reminds me of my own grandma. A great read for anyone!

KCLS_RobinH Mar 23, 2021

Favorite chapter: 34.

IndyPL_ShannonO Mar 03, 2021

I really enjoyed this book. I thought the author did a good job of weaving the magical elements of the story with the real world stuff. I like that it keeps you guessing where one begins and the other ends. But also I feel it helped emphasize Lily's grief and desperation when it came to her grandmother's condition. That she was so determined to alter reality that she felt only magic could save the situation.

Feb 09, 2021

This was a bit of a miss for me. I could not help comparing it to 'The Science of Breakable Things' and feeling it came up short. The magical realism was difficult for my linear mind to connect with for some reason. I know I am not the target audience, but this seemed to me to be like that batch of rice cakes that tried to make for the tiger. The grape jelly just was not the right filling. There are some emotional moments in this book that are handled quite deftly, but then there are other ingredients that just don't add to the whole. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

OPL_EllyR Apr 13, 2020

I loved this adventurous middle grade novel about family and storytelling. Lily's story seems like it will be a sort of standard novel about moving to a new town, but instead it deals with grief, intergenerational history and mythology. Lily's relationship with her halmoni (grandmother) is incredibly touching, and her relationships to her mother and sister evolve in realistic and complicated, but positive, ways. When You Trap a Tiger is an excellent example of how #OwnVoices literature can effortlessly incorporate cultural knowledge and identities to create exciting new stories for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

Chapel_Hill_KarinM Feb 03, 2020

Really enjoyed this one, which is both a touching/heartfelt family story (3 generations of women), a friendship story, a great example of fantasy-infused fiction, and incorporates Korean folk tales beautifully. Also really approachable, and has a talking tiger so an easy "sell."


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Apr 29, 2021

Tiny_Blueberry thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Mar 06, 2021

red_leopard_670 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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