When You Trap a Tiger Summary

When You Trap a Tiger Summary
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A little girl looks in shock at a tiger that stands in front of her.

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

By Lauren Ayube

Twelve year old Lily, her sister, and her mother have moved to Washington to live with her halmoni, who is ill. When a magical tiger from Halmoni’s past starts visiting Lily, she learns that there are many stories and secrets in her grandmother’s past. This is a wondrous story about Korean folklore, family, love, and the power of stories.




When You Trap a Tiger

Storyboard Description

Create a visual plot diagram for When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

Storyboard Text

  • When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller
  • EXPOSITION
  • Nothing lasts forever, Lily. Tigers break free.
  • RISING ACTION
  • Go away!
  • Why so hostile? I'm not going to eat you.
  • Stories can be magical. Stories can be scary. Stories can be inspiring. This is a story about a young girl's mission to save her grandmother's life.
  • CLIMAX
  • I really hope that you have that magic, because I need your help.
  • Lily, her sister Sam, and their mother move to Washington to take care of their beloved halmoni. Lily learns of Halmoni’s past and the importance that storytelling plays in their Korean culture.
  • FALLING ACTION
  • I am not afraid.
  • We love you.
  • Lily comes face to face with the tiger, who claims Halmoni stole her stories by scooping them up from the stars and keeping them in jars. Lily makes a deal with the tiger: return the stories and Halmoni will be healed.
  • RESOLUTION
  • Halmoni becomes very ill and is rushed to the hospital. Lily calls upon the tiger, whom she originally thought was there to harm Halmoni, for help.
  • With her daughter and granddaughters by her side, Halmoni dies peacefully at the hospital. Lily was able to tell her one last story.
  • The whole town gathers at the library to remember Halmoni and celebrate her life with a kosa. Lily and Sam are happy in their new town, and feel at peace for the first time in a long time.
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