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Tears of a Tiger

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Tears of a Tiger
Tears of a Tiger
By Sharon Draper 192 Pages

This book deals the issues that can or already influence every teenager in America. It addresses the issues of peer pressure, sorrow, death, friendship, teen drinking, guilt and teen suicide. Various youth have said "That won't happen to me" or "I can handle my alcohol" or "I am ok to drive, I just had a few!" As teenagers, you have countless ideas and myths about drinking alcohol in addition to its affect on you and your body! Teenagers do not realize how drinking just one drink and getting behind the wheel of a car can cause harm to you and innocent people.
Andrew Jackson, also known as Andy by his friends met his best friend Robert Washington since seventh grade. They both wanted to become professional basketball players but sadly, Robert never gets the chance to fulfill his dreams. After the terrible accident, Andy feels so guilty and depressed over the loss of his best friend. He turn's away from his whole life, and no one could help him. Andy and his other three friends, who were also involved in the accident, mourn over their best friend's death but Andy never gets over the fact that it was just an accident. He even sees a psychologist but that still didn't make the pain he felt go away. He felt as if the pain was eating him up alive. His girlfriend Keisha tries to help him have a little fun but after a while he remembers Rob and feels depressed. He keeps having dreams of him, telling him to die so they could be together. Life seems like death for Andy because he goes on day by day feeling guilty and more miserable; he wished all the pain could just go away. He could not have any peaceful moments, not even in his dreams.
Andy Jackson and three other friends had just won an important basketball game. They decided to get together and go celebrate their victory. They had started drinking, all except for B.J. who had never drunk in his life. They heard honking, but just laughed because of the alcohol. All of a sudden, a wall is in front of them and before they know it, they hit it. Three of the guys get out, but Robert Washington, Andy's best friend and captain of the Hazelwood basketball team is pinned inside of the car. Two guys rush over to help Robert out, but as soon as they get on the hood, they are thrown off after a loud bang. The gas tank explodes with Robert pinned inside and he burns to death. From that horrendous scene, Andy is trying to deal with the death of his best friend. He feels he has caused his friend to die. Everyone affected by the accident deals with it in a different way. Tyrone and, BJ, the other boys that were in the car, are able to move on with life, Tyrone through a supportive relationship with Rhonda, and BJ from finding God. However, they were not driving, and their guilt is minor compared to Andy's. Andy's relationship with the psychologist, Dr. Carrothers, provides insight into the scars a white society can leave on a black male. He does not do as well in school as he could because that would not be cool for a black basketball player. He sees his father as a sell out to the white establishment; he and his friends are hassled when entering stores. Andy has all kinds of support: his coach is an understanding man; Keisha, his love, is as kind and gentle with Andy as one could ask for until even she has had enough of his tears and depression, which he often hides behind outrageous behavior. Nevertheless, at the crucial moment when he needs them, his psychologist is flying to California, the coach is not home, and Keisha's mother will not wake her up for an after midnight phone call. Several months pass by, and Andy cannot stop blaming himself. As he turns away from family, friends, and even his girlfriend, he finds he is losing the most precious thing of all; his ability to face the future. When he tries to sleep, Robert comes into his dreams and tells him it is his entire fault, but he forgives him for everything. Soon after these dreams began to occur, Andy starts going to see a psychologist on a weekly basis. Even after seeing his psychologist, Andy continues to have emotional problems as well as guilt problems.

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