Tiger Eyes

Last updated
Tiger Eyes
Tiger Eyes book cover.jpg
First edition
Author Judy Blume
CountryUnited States
Genre Young adult literature
Publisher Bradbury
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages224 pp
ISBN 0-87888-185-9
OCLC 7552139
LC Class PZ7.B6265 Ti

Tiger Eyes is a young adult novel written by Judy Blume in 1981 about a 15-year-old girl attempting to cope with the unexpected death of her father. In 2012, the novel was adapted into a film of the same name, directed by Judy's son, Lawrence Blume, and starring Willa Holland as Davey Wexler. Davey is often sad, depressed and defensive on everything. She has a short breakdown at her brother, Jason. Her mom becomes incapable of doing things about the house, making Davey more depressed.


Plot summary

Davis “Davey” Wexler, along with her mother, Gwen, and her little brother, Jason, have just attended the funeral of her father, Adam, who was shot to death in a holdup at their 7-Eleven convenience store in Atlantic City. After lying in bed for days on end and not eating, Davey starts her tenth year of school, but faints on her first day from anxiety. She goes for a checkup, and the doctor explains Davey is having panic attacks.

Davey's mother, Gwen, decides they need to get away for awhile and takes up an offer from Adam's older sister, Bitsy, and his brother-in-law Walter to come stay with them in Los Alamos, New Mexico. A few days before they are scheduled to return to Atlantic City, Gwen receives news their store has been further vandalized, and she decides they're going to stay in Los Alamos through the end of the school year.

Bitsy and Walter, who were unable to have children, start treating Davey and Jason like their own kids, which causes tension between them and Davey. They're overprotective, and Davey becomes more upset when her mother just sits back and allows them to parent her. During this time, Gwen gets a job at the Los Alamos National Laboratory as a temp. She begins seeing a therapist named Miriam and convinces Davey to see her as well.

Meanwhile, Davey explores the town on her aunt's bicycle. One day, she goes to a canyon and climbs down. There, she runs into an older boy who calls himself Wolf. Davey calls herself Tiger when they introduce each other. She also becomes a candy striper at the hospital with her new friend, Jane, and meets a cancer patient who turns out to be Wolf's father. The inspiration from Wolf and his father changes Davey for the better. Wolf's father eventually dies from cancer, and Wolf leaves.

Another story is Jane's alcoholism and Davey's desire to help her get sober. Also, in three different parts Davey describes the evening her father was shot and killed, which causes her in the beginning of the book to completely freak out when Jason experiences a nosebleed from the altitude. She carries a paper bag with her, which is revealed to contain the clothing she was wearing when she found her father and held him until he died; the clothing was soaked with his blood. After a session with Miriam, she finally breaks down and is able to mourn her father. She eventually buries the clothing and a bread knife she carried for self-defense in a cave in the canyon where she met Wolf.

Eventually, against Bitsy's wishes, Gwen decides to return the family to Atlantic City to begin a new life. Walter helps them buy a car for the trip home. Gwen gets a job in one of the hotels, thanks to the credentials she gained while working at the lab, and with the aid of her friend, Audrey. Once they're back home, Davey often wonders if anyone will know how much she had changed, but realizes some changes happen deep down and only you know about them.


Judy Blume states in her book Places I Never Meant to Be this was the only book she has written she has voluntarily censored. In the original draft submitted to her editor, the character Davey masturbates while thinking about Wolf. Her editor pointed out the book was likely to be read by many more young readers if the scene was left out. After agonizing over the decision, Blume agreed and removed the passage.

This book is on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000 at number 89. [1]


A film version of the novel, directed by the author's son Lawrence Blume, [2] started production in October 2010 and was released at the 15th Annual Sonoma International Film Festival on April 12, 2012. It won the Jury Award for Best Feature in the Palm Beach International Film Festival. Willa Holland is cast as Davey, Tatanka Means as Wolf and Amy Jo Johnson as Gwen Wexler. [3] It was released on June 7, 2013 both in art house cinemas and video-on-demand.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Judy Blume</span> American writer of children, young adult and adult works (born 1938)

Judith Blume is an American writer of children's, young adult, and adult fiction. Blume began writing in 1959 and has published more than 25 novels. Among her best-known works are Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. (1970), Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (1972), Deenie (1973), and Blubber (1974). Blume's books have significantly contributed to children's and young adult literature. She was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2023.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Willa Cather</span> American writer (1873–1947)

Willa Sibert Cather was an American writer known for her novels of life on the Great Plains, including O Pioneers!, The Song of the Lark, and My Ántonia. In 1923, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours, a novel set during World War I. In 2023, a statue of Willa Cather was placed in Statuary Hall in the US Capitol, one of the statues from the State of Nebraska.

<i>Are You There God? Its Me, Margaret.</i> 1970 novel by Judy Blume

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. is a middle-grade novel by American writer Judy Blume, published in 1970. Its protagonist, Margaret Simon, is a sixth-grader who grows up without a religious affiliation because of her parents' interfaith marriage. This contemporary realistic novel was popular with middle-grade readers in the 1970s for its relatable portrayal of a young girl confronting early-adolescent anxieties, such as menstruation, brassieres and boys. The recipient of national honors and book awards, the novel has been challenged for its frank discussion of sexual and religious topics.

<i>Freak the Mighty</i> Novel by Rodman Philbrick

Freak the Mighty is a young adult novel by Rodman Philbrick. Published in 1993, it was followed by the novel Max the Mighty in 1998. The primary characters are friends Maxwell Kane, a large, developmentally disabled, but kind-hearted boy, and Kevin Avery, nicknamed "Freak", who is physically disabled but very intelligent. Kevin is diagnosed with Morquio syndrome.

<i>Summer Sisters</i> 1998 Judy Blume adult novel

Summer Sisters (ISBN 0-385-32405-7) is a 1998 novel by Judy Blume. It focuses on the life of two fictional characters, the girls Victoria Leonard (Vix) and Caitlin Somers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Willa Holland</span> American actress (born 1991)

Willa Joanna Chance Holland is an American actress and model. She is known for her roles as Kaitlin Cooper in the Fox teen drama The O.C., Aqua in Kingdom Hearts, and Thea Queen in The CW series Arrow as well as its spin-off The Flash.

<i>O Pioneers!</i> 1913 novel by Willa Cather

O Pioneers! is a 1913 novel by American author Willa Cather, written while she was living in New York. It was her second published novel. The title is a reference to a poem by Walt Whitman entitled "Pioneers! O Pioneers!" from Leaves of Grass (1855).

<i>Then Again, Maybe I Wont</i> 1971 novel by Judy Blume

Then Again, Maybe I Won't is a young adult novel written by Judy Blume. Intended for pre-teens and teenagers, the novel deals with puberty from a 1970s male perspective as well as the other trials of growing up.

<i>Iggies House</i>

Iggie's House is a 1970 young adult novel by Judy Blume. The story concerns Winnie, whose best friend Iggie has moved away. The new family moving into Iggie's house are the first African-American people in the neighborhood. While Winnie is quick to make friends with the new kids, she realizes that some people, possibly including her own parents, have trouble seeing past a person's color.

<i>Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great</i> 1972 childrens novel by Judy Blume

Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great is a children's novel by Judy Blume, first published in 1972. It is a spin-off novel to the Fudge series, being set shortly after Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and centers on Peter Hatcher's nemesis, Sheila Tubman, and her family. Peter himself only appears briefly at the beginning and Fudge does not appear at all, although he is briefly mentioned.

<i>Forever...</i> (novel) 1975 novel by Judy Blume

Forever... is a 1975 novel by Judy Blume dealing with teenage sexuality. Because of the novel's content it has been the frequent target of censorship and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000 at number seven.

<i>Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself</i> 1977 young adult novel by Judy Blume

Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself is a 1977 young adult novel by Judy Blume. It is set in 1947 and follows the imaginative 10-year-old Sally, who likes to make up stories in her head, her family moves from New Jersey to Miami Beach. While not as controversial as some of her other novels, Blume does manage to address the following themes of late 1940s life in America: racism, anti-Semitism and sibling rivalry. This novel is her most autobiographical, with many parallels between Blume's own life and that of Sally. Blume has said, "Sally is the kind of kid I was at ten."

<i>Wifey</i> (novel) 1978 novel by Judy Blume

Wifey is a 1978 American novel written by Judy Blume.

<i>Lucy Gayheart</i> Novel by Willa Cather

Lucy Gayheart is Willa Cather's eleventh novel. It was published in 1935. The novel revolves round the eponymous character, Lucy Gayheart, a young girl from the fictional town of Haverford, Nebraska, located near the Platte River.

<i>Candyfloss</i> (novel) 2006 novel by Jacqueline Wilson

Candyfloss is a novel by Jacqueline Wilson, first published in 2006 by Doubleday.

<i>Creepy Creatures</i>

Creepy Creatures is the first book in R. L. Stine's Goosebumps Graphix series. It is a comic book that contains three stories; TheWerewolf of Fever Swamp adapted by Gabriel Hernandez, The Scarecrow Walks At Midnight adapted by Greg Ruth and The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena adapted by Scott Morse, all based on the Goosebumps books by R. L. Stine. The book was first published on September 1, 2006 by Scholastic in The United States.

<i>Tiger Eyes</i> (film) 2012 American film

Tiger Eyes is a 2012 film directed by Lawrence Blume based on the 1981 young adult novel of the same name, written by Judy Blume, and stars Willa Holland, Amy Jo Johnson and Tatanka Means. It follows the story of Davey, a young girl attempting to cope with the sudden death of her father and the subsequent uprooting of her life.

<i>In the Unlikely Event</i> (novel) 2015 Judy Blume adult historical fiction

In the Unlikely Event is a 2015 novel by Judy Blume. It follows fifteen-year-old Miri Ammerman and her family and friends as they cope with three plane crashes from December 1951 to February 1952 in their home of Elizabeth, New Jersey. This was Blume's first adult book in 17 years and one of only four adult books she has written in her career.

Tatanka Wanbli Sapa Xila Sabe Means is a Native American actor and comedian, of Oglala Lakota, Omaha, Yankton Dakota, and Diné descent. He is best known for his roles in Killers of the Flower Moon and The Son.