Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Publication Date: 1981
Recommended Age Group: 14 and Up
Summary: This is a touching and emotional story about Davey Wexler and her path to cope with the untimely death of her father. The book begins with Davey getting ready for the funeral and not being able to find shoes. When she gets there she manages not to cry and for days and months after she talks about it as little as possible. Her father was murdered in a holdup in the family’s 7-Eleven store. Davey was there when he died and could not save his life. She and her mother and younger brother struggle to deal with the loss and then they move to New Mexico to live with family while they piece their lives back together. Davey goes for long rides on her bike to get away from the family and deal with her grief, it is on one of these rides that she meets Wolf. Wolf is a young man who is also dealing with the loss of a father, but his is still alive he is dying slowing in a hospital. Davey volunteers in a hospital and ends up caring for Wolf’s father and becomes one of his good friends. In the end Davey and the rest of her family conquer the grief and they are able to go back to Atlantic City and get a part of their lives back. They are never the same but they learn how to cope and to be there for each other when it really matters.
Personal Notes: I read this a few months after the untimely death of my own father and found it to be quite accurate and touching. I remember thinking many of the same things that Davey does and wondering how we were all going to get along without him. After the funeral scene this book was a great comfort to me. It helped me deal with my grief and even though Davey was a fictional character it reminded me that I’m not alone in this loss. This is a heartfelt and powerfully moving book. Judy Blume captures the pain of loss but also the power to move ahead and come out stronger.