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Tears of a Tiger


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About The Book

Andy tackles his guilt and grief in the first book of Sharon M. Draper’s award-winning Hazelwood High trilogy.

Tigers don’t cry—or do they? After the death of his longtime friend and fellow Hazelwood Tiger in a car accident, Andy, the driver, blames himself and cannot get past his guilt and pain. While his other friends have managed to work through their grief and move on, Andy allows death to become the focus of his life. In the months that follow the accident, the lives of Andy and his friends are traced through a series of letters, articles, homework assignments, and dialogues, and it becomes clear that Tigers do indeed need to cry.


Nov. 8 — Robert Washington, age 17, captain of the Hazelwood High School basketball team, was killed last night in a fiery automobile accident on 1-75. Witnesses say the car, driven by Andrew Jackson, 17, also of the Hazelwood team, had been noticeably weaving across the lanes of the expressway just before it hit a retaining wall and burst into flames.

Jackson, who police said had been drinking, was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he is being treated for burns and bruises. He is listed in good condition. Two other Hazelwood students, B. J. Carson, 16, and Tyrone Mills, 17, who were also in the car, were treated and released.

The three students who escaped serious injury were able to jump from the four-door Chevy immediately after the accident, say witnesses. Washington, however, who was sitting in the front seat next to the driver, had his feet on the dashboard. The force of the crash sent his feet through the windshield, pinning him inside the automobile. The car’s gas tank then exploded. Although Jackson tried frantically to rescue Washington, he and his friends watched helplessly as Robert Washington burned to death.

About The Author

Photograph (c) Sharon Draper

Sharon M. Draper is a three-time New York Times bestselling author for Out of My MindBlended, and Out of My Heart. She’s also won Coretta Scott King Awards for Copper Sun and Forged by Fire and multiple honors. She’s also the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens. Sharon taught high school English for twenty-five years and was named National Teacher of the Year. She now lives in Florida. Visit her at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (July 23, 2013)
  • Length: 192 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781442489134
  • Grades: 7 and up
  • Ages: 12 - 99

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Raves and Reviews

“As compelling a novel as any published in the last two decades. Buy it, read it, share it.”


“Short chapters and alternating viewpoints provide raw energy and intense emotion."

– Publisher's Weekly

“The characters' voices are strong, vivid, and ring true. This moving novel will leave a lasting impression.”


Awards and Honors

  • ALA Best Books For Young Adults
  • Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
  • CBC/NCSS Notable Children's Book in Social Studies
  • Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award
  • ALA Margaret A. Edwards Award

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More books from this author: Sharon M. Draper

More books in this series: Hazelwood High Trilogy