Sharon M. Draper’s Tears of a Tiger deals with the cataclysmic and brutal effects of teenage tragedy, and Draper’s astute sense of gritty reality renders a raw and emotional undertone to her novel. Set mostly in a conversational form of writing, interspersed with newspaper clippings, diary entries and secretive notes, we are first introduced to Andrew “Andy” Jackson, who enjoys ribbing his best friend, Robert Washington, about his greater mastery of basketball. Both boys are stars on their high school basketball team, and both are poised to meet with scouts later that year. However, late one November night, Andy and his friends go out drinking, and in a reckless move, Andy then drives the boys home. Andy, in a state of drunken delirium, weaves right into a wall, crashing the car, and while three of the boys are able to stumble out of the vehicle, Rob remains entrapped inside. The boys then watch in horror as the car is engulfed in flames, and their friend dies. The repercussions of this loss have destructive reverberations throughout Andy’s senior year, as he attempts to deal with his keen sense of guilt. Draper does not shy away from harsh reality, rather confronting it head-on, and her informal writing style captures, with aplomb, the teenage voice of anger, fear, pressure, and guilt. A powerful novel, Tears of a Tiger is recommended for more mature readers.