In the Tiger Rising there was a middle school boy named Rob whose mom died. After his mother's funeral he and his dad moved to Florida and have been staying at a motel. When he moved to Florida he found a tiger in the woods
Rob was waiting for the bus and finally it pulled up. He got on it and ignored the fact that he was being bullied. Then a girl named Sistine got on and they started bullying her.
Once they got to school Sistine called the south dumb in front of the whole class which made everyone but Rob mad.
At lunch Rob was sitting and Sistine came in with a crowd of people around her. Then she started fighting them then Rob yelled "LEAVE HER ALONE!" Then they all chased him.
Later that day Rob got sent to the principal's office. The principal wrote a note telling his dad that the other parents were afraid the rashes on his knees were contagious. That meant Rob had to stay home until they went away. Rob was super happy because he did not like school and got to stay home.
The next day Rob met a girl named Willie May who was the hotel maid.
After Sistine got back from school she gave Rob his homework. Rob was disappointed because he did not want to do school work. They talked for a while and then Rob accidentally said "I know where a tiger is" and showed it to her.
Later Rob and Willie May were talking and Rob asked, "Is it bad to keep animals locked up?" Then Willie May said, "No, once I had a bird named Cricket and he died right when I let him go." Then the hotel owner, Beauchamp, came and drove him to the tiger, gave him a bag of raw meat, and he said he would pay Rob to feed the tiger.
The next day Sistine wanted to go to the tiger and Rob accidentally said he had the key. Sistine demanded he let the tiger go, but Rob thought of what Willie May said and he didn't want to.
Rob got back and his dad found the bag of meat for the tiger. He asked who it was from and without thinking, Rob said "Beauchamp."
The next day Rob gave Willie May a fake wooden bird to remind her of Cricket. She thought it was amazing. After that, Sistine came back after school everyday, and told Rob to let the tiger go, but Rob wouldn't.
Rob finally said he would let the tiger go and held the key to prove it.
They unlocked the cage. Slowly the tiger took one step then another and slowly started to dash out of the cage.
Then they heard a loud "BOOM." They looked and saw Rob's dad holding a gun and the tiger dead in front of him and Willie May. Rob went over and started punching his dad. "WHY DID YOU KILL MY TIGER!?" Rob screamed. "Because I had to," said Rob's dad. Rob started to cry, then Willie May admitted it was she who told Rob's dad to shoot it because she new they would let it go. Then Sistine started to cry too.
The next day they had a funeral for the tiger. They put the fake bird on the tiger then buried him.
That night Rob had a dream that he and Sistine were in front of the grave. They were waiting, then Cricket came out and flew into the sky. When Rob woke up he was happy.