Cover image for Where have all the tigers gone?
Title:
Where have all the tigers gone?
Author:
Hall, Lynn.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Scribner, [1989]

©1989
Summary:
Enroute to a high school reunion, a fifty-year-old woman, now a successful novelist, reminisces about the personalities and relationships in her class and about her own feeling during her school days of never fitting in.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780684190037
Format :
Book

On Order

Summary

Summary

Enroute to a high school reunion, a fifty-year-old woman, now a successful novelist, reminisces about the personalities and relationships in her class and about her own feeling during her school days of never fitting in.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Always a quiet outsider, Jo Herne hated her small midwestern high school. Now at 50, a successful author of westerns and happy in her independent life sustained by close friendships, she goes back for the reunion of her class of '55. Jo's memories of fifth grade through senior year make up most of the story, and this is Hall at her best. Far from nostalgic, she's candid about the meanness between "best" friends ("I felt my power over her and in some twisted way it made me hate her"), the sexism of the time (when a test showed her aptitude for farming, the counselor told her to marry a farmer), and her conformity to the rigid social strata. What an anticlimax, then, to resolve that complexity with a consolatory message about tortoises and hares: the reunion reveals too many neat reversals of princesses brought low and those with smaller expectations finding happiness, like the ugliest dog in the class who went on to charm school and became a beauty. What is convincing is Jo's painful awareness that her present strong independence has been hard-won, as well as her mature acceptance--in the warm camaraderie of the reunion--that though they were all different, they were also kin. Gr. 8-12. --Hazel Rochman


Publisher's Weekly Review

Jo Herne reflects on her childhood as she prepares to attend her 32nd high school reunion. As a youth she felt insecure and aimless, without real friends. She felt rejected by boys and preferred to spend much of her time alone. And she believed herself odd compared to the other girls and imagined what their future lives would be like. Years later Jo is a successful writer, fulfilled by her career, close friendships and the life she has made in Arizona. At the reunion, she is startled to learn that others had envied her in high school and that ``we did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves.'' Jo describes her experiences in a wise, wry voice, allowing readers the chance to find out, just as she does, how her reunion turns out. It's a reassuring portrait of a life, a message in a bottle to teenagers who may feel like outsiders in their own high schools. Because Hall's view of these events is not shrouded in nostalgia but presented objectively, the story rings true. And that gives it real power. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 7-12-- Fifty-year-old Jo Herne would be an unlikely protagonist for a young adult novel if Hall weren't so adept at weaving teenage issues into this sensitive look at Herne's life. As Jo's plane heads toward Iowa where she will attend a high-school class reunion, Jo mentally relives her childhood. Not unlike other bright teens, she feels like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. She develops friendships without any depth and goes through the motions of attending dances, roller skating, and hunting for possible boyfriends, all the while feeling awkward and unknown. Her ``best friend'' Charlotte was chosen by her mother. The boys she liked--Roberto and Bruce--were unreachable. And the unattractive and unpopular Hazel was off limits for obvious reasons. Her best times, Jo thought, were when she was alone--reading or horseback riding. The strength of this novel is in Jo's interest in these classmates and her relationships to them. The reunion offers the insight that links past and present and dispels many youthful misconceptions. The book is a deftly written nostalgic trip of one woman trying to piece together the progression from childhood to the adult world. --Judie Porter, Media Services Center, Portsmouth School Department, R.I. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.