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Rain School Hardcover – October 28, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 420L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: Kentucky Bluegrass Awards 2012 Master List Grades K-2
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (October 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547243073
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547243078
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 11.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

James Rumford on Rain School

Rain School is a book that comes directly from my experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in the African country of Chad. I remember one particular evening now long ago. School was out. The summer rains had come, and in the coolness of the evening, my wife and I decided to take a walk around the town of Kélo, where we were teachers at the local middle school.

Not far from our house, we happened upon the rain-washed ruins of an elementary school. The roof had fallen in. The dirt walls had collapsed, but the mud desks still had some shape to them. Here and there students had bored holes in the sides of their desks for pens or pencils or rulers. Suddenly we realized that come September these ruins would come to life again. Teacher and students would repair the roof and the walls, give the desks a new coat of mud, and, in no time, school would be underway.

We were stunned to think how much we had taken for granted back home. Now decades later, I have decided to write about that school. I wanted to give readers today pause for thought, a moment of appreciation for the school down the street and the men and woman who make education so easily available in our country. Then I drew the pictures. I used the ink-and-pastel style I created for A Chuva de Manga (BrinqueBooks, 2005), a book about mangoes and creativity, which I published in Brazil, and called on that book's main character, a Chadian boy named Tomás, to "tell" us about his first year at school.

Happy Reading,

James Rumford

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 3–“In the country of Chad, it is the first day of school. The dry dirt road is filling up with children. Big brothers and sisters are leading the way.” Thomas and the other younger children follow behind their older siblings, bombarding them with eager questions. “Will they give us a notebook? Will they give us a pencil? Will I learn to read like you?” When the children arrive at the schoolyard, they find only their teacher. Working under her direction, they build a school, using a wood frame, a few bricks, and a thatch roof and walls. With that completed, they have their classes. Nine months go by and rain clouds begin to gather. School is over until next year. Along with the rain comes the wind, and over time, the building disappears–washed away. Come September, the process will begin again. The final illustration features a smiling confident Thomas at the forefront, with eager, younger children following behind. The yellow, brown, and burnt orange shades dominate each of the spreads, both as background color and as part the dry, sandy, and hot landscape. The message of the story is clear–while the school structure may be temporary, education is permanent. This book also gives young children a glimpse into the school life of children in another part of the world.Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rachel E. Kennedy on September 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
We love this book. It is our current favorite, and as it goes in our house, that means we read it perhaps three times per day. I had a slightly different take than the two previous reviewers. I won't recap the plot, since that's been done well above. It makes me think, not of how little others have (though I recognize this is true in many places) but of how bizarre and sometimes pointless, or at least incomplete, the standard Western education is. How fabulous to learn not only reading and writing at school, but also carpentry and masonry. I guess I don't think of this as a story about poverty, but about opportunity.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Yana V. Rodgers on October 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Thomas, a young child in the African country of Chad, eagerly anticipates his first day of school. When he arrives at the schoolyard, Thomas is surprised to see a teacher but no building and no desks. He discovers that before the reading instruction can begin, he needs to help make mud bricks, build walls, and thatch a roof. When the school term ends nine months later, Thomas has learned a great deal. That knowledge will stay with him, even though not much will remain of the mud building once the rainy season has passed its course.

With its exuberant illustrations and graceful text, this book introduces readers to how young children living in remote parts of Chad, one of the poorest countries in the world, may experience primary school. The author draws on his Peace Corps experience in Chad to add realism and to convey the desire of children to overcome the obstacles they face and become educated.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. Kennen on July 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Imagine spending your first days of school helping building the place you will be learning in. Imagine knowing it will all be washed away when the rains come nine months later. This is the reality of the children in the mud school of a village in Chad. But regardless of what happens to impermanent things, knowledge cannot be taken away.

This book left me awe-struck. It has never occurred to me that kids somewhere might have this sort of experience. My daughter also enjoyed the book, with its crisp prose and warm illustrations and unspoken lessons. There are so many ways to go with this book: a look at different cultures, poverty, seasonal changes and/or taking things for granted. I recommend RAIN SCHOOL highly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lauren Landry on September 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I used this book as the introductory lesson in a unit on the lengths at which children across the world must go to to receive their education, and it was perfect! My students and I loved it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the story. This story will excite my kindergarten students conversation about the many wonderful things we have in our lives.
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