From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7–When 12-year-old Rains father leaves the family, her mother decides to simplify their lives and move to Rains grandmothers house in the country. Daniel, an intelligent boy who is obsessed with Star Trek and enjoys playing chess, lives next door. At school, the two are called the Double Drips. Rain wishes she could play basketball, but feels obligated to hang out with Daniel, who hates sports. She learns that he has to have surgery to correct a heart problem. Her weekends with her father and his girlfriend get better once the adults acknowledge her feelings and Rain and Daniel discover that Julia is a Trekkie. Readers will relate to Rains adjustment to her parents separation and a new home, school, and friends. The Australian setting features a platypus sighting and a visiting cousin who is so American. This enjoyable and quirky story is told from Rains perspective and includes poems composed from a refrigerator poetry kit and entries from Daniels Captains Log.–Debbie Stewart Hoskins, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI
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Gr. 5-8. Twelve year-old Rain's parents have separated. Her father has moved in with his trendy, younger girlfriend, and her mother has turned in her business suits for yoga and a simpler life in "Boringsville," tiny Clarkson, Central Victoria. Now even Rain's name, a perfectly good one in cosmopolitan Melbourne, seems weird. Her neighbor Daniel is almost 12, "phenomenally bright," an ardent Star Trek fan, and, as Rain learns, cruelly bullied at school. In alternating chapters, Australian author Bateson deftly allows Rain and Daniel to chronicle their budding friendship and the problems each has fitting in at home and at school: Rain's anger toward her father; her fierce loyalty to Daniel even as she wishes he would try harder to make friends; and Daniel's fear that he might lose Rain's friendship while he's hospitalized for heart surgery. Readers will ache for the kids, whose conflicted feelings seem all too real. So what if the author resolves their problems a little too neatly; readers will still savor the satisfying ending. Chris Sherman
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