Synopses & Reviews
Tiger Ann Parker is smart in school and good at baseball, but she's forever teased about her family by the girls in class. Tiger Ann knows her folks are different from others in their small town of Saitter, Louisiana. They are mentally slow, and Tiger Ann keeps her pain and embarrassment hidden as long as her strong and smart Granny runs the household. Then Granny dies suddenly and Aunt Dorie Kay arrives, offering Tiger Ann a way out. Now Tiger Ann must make the most important decision of her life.
About the Author
The daughter of a Navy chief, Kimberly Willis Holt lived all over the world during her childhood. But Forest Hill, Louisiana, became the place she called home. "Forest Hill is the kind of town where neighbors care when you're sick and show up at your door with chicken and dumplings. I wanted Tiger to be from a place like that," says the author. She currently lives in Amarillo, Texas, with her family. This is her first novel for young readers. Her second novel, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, won the National Book Award.
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Tiger Ann struggles to understand the sudden death of her grandmother, her mentally deficient parents, and the changes occurring within her as she grows up in 1950s rural Louisiana.
Tiger Ann's parents are what some people call "slow," and after the death of her grandmother she would like nothing more than to leave the small, backward town of Saitter and live with her Aunt Dorie Kay in the big city of Baton Rouge. In Baton Rouge, she could reinvent herself and no one would have to know about her parents. But before she is about to leave, her life takes several unexpected turns, which prompts Tiger Ann to make the most important decision of her life.
ABOUT THIS AUTHOR
The daughter of a Navy chief, Kimberly Willis Holt lived all over the world during her childhood. But Forest Hill, Louisiana, became the place she called home. "Forest Hill is the kind of town where neighbors care when you're sick and show up at your door with chicken and dumplings. I wanted Tiger to be from a place like that," says the author. She currently lives in Amarillo, Texas, with her family. This is her first novel for young readers. Her second novel, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, won the National Book Award and will be published in paperback by Random House Children's Books in the spring of 2001.
In the Classroom
My Louisiana Sky is Kimberly Willis Holt's beautifully told story of a young girl in rural Louisiana in the 1950s struggling to become her own person while dealing with the death of her grandmother, and the fact that her parents are both mentally deficient.
The activities offered in this guide will give the students an opportunity to discuss their feelings about growing up, accepting differences in others, as well as their concerns about friendship and difficult family relationships. The guide can also be used to span the content areas and offers research, writing, mathematics, science, art, and music activities that will enhance students' appreciation of the book.
Brainstorm with your students what they think life in the 1950s was like. Make a class list of student responses. Then ask students to interview a relative, neighbor, or staff member who would have been a teenager during the 1950s about life at that time and to record their answers on paper. Have students compare the information they received from their interviews to the class list and judge the accuracy of their lists.
Ask the class to discuss how the people of Saitter react to the behavior of Tiger Ann's parents. How does Tiger Ann respond to the way her parents are treated? In what other ways might Tiger Ann have reacted to the ignorance of these people? Discuss how special students in your school are treated.
Throughout the course of the story Tiger Ann is torn between her desire to have a
Good writers are always looking for the perfect word and many keep a writer's notebook in which they jot down ideas, snatches of overheard conversations, and words. Ask students to keep a list of words that Kimberly Willis Holt uses in her writing that they would like to incorporate into their own writing.
"Making an unusually auspicious debut, Holt offers a unique coming-of-age tale…readers…will admire [Tiger's] courage, loyalty and love for her parents." - Starred, Publishers Weekly
"Holt…eases the action along with a low-key, unpretentious plot…uncannily credible characters." - Starred, The Horn Book Magazine
"Tiger has a distinctive voice, and her subtle observations include an increasing awareness of those marginalized by difference of class, race, and intelligence." The Bulletin
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: Pensacola, Florida (during a hurricane)
Currently home: Amarillo, Texas
Previous jobs: Directing radio news, marketing, and decorating
Hobbies: Reading and going to the movies and theater
Inspiration for writing: Memories from childhood
Favorite books: To Kill a Mockingbird and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter