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Rain Reign (Ala Notable Children's Books. Middle Readers) Hardcover – October 7, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Rose is different from the other children in her class in many ways. She struggles to control the obsessions and outbursts that are symptomatic of her high-functioning autism. She is fascinated by homophones, or homonyms, as most people know them, and prime numbers. Rose uses patterns and habits to gain some control over her days. Her mother left when Rose was two, so she lives with her father, and is also cared for by her Uncle Weldon, who lives nearby, and who often shows Rose the most understanding and compassion. When her father brings home a lost dog, Rose names her Rain, since she was found in the rain, and "rain" is a homonym (with "reign"). During a superstorm, her father lets Rain out, and Rose's beloved companion is lost. Rose and her uncle finally find Rain after a long and difficult search, but they learn that Rain is actually Olivia, the pet of a family who lost everything in the storm. Told through Rose's voice, the story gives readers the perspective of someone who sees life in black-and-white, and who struggles when rules are broken, or routines are changed. The characters around Rose develop incrementally as readers witness their reactions to her obsessions and her struggles. Though Rose's story is often heartbreaking, her matter-of-fact narration provides moments of humor. Readers will empathize with Rose, who finds strength and empowerment through her unique way of looking at the world. A first purchase.—MaryAnn Karre, West Middle School, Binghamton, NY
“Rose is a character we root for every step of the way. She is resilient, honest, and, in her own odd way, very perceptive; a most reliable narrator.” ―The Horn Book, starred review
“Though Rose's story is often heartbreaking, her matter-of-fact narration provides moments of humor. Readers will empathize with Rose, who finds strength and empowerment through her unique way of looking at the world.” ―School Library Journal, starred review
“Simplicity, clarity, and emotional resonance are hallmarks of Rose's first-person narrative, which offers an unflinching view of her world from her perspective . . . A strong story told in a nuanced, highly accessible way.” ―Booklist, starred review
“Martin has penned a riveting, seamless narrative in which each word sings and each scene counts.” ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Newbery Honor author Martin (A Corner of the Universe) is extremely successful in capturing Rose's perspective and personality...” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
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Top Customer Reviews
Rain Reign was amazing, powerful, emotional and I really related to it. I'm giving it 5/5 stars.
To tell you guys the truth, when I was contacted to review** Rain Reign I didn't quite know what to expect, especially because it's described as a "powerful story" and "brilliantly told." I mean, I devoured all of Ms. Martin's Babysitter's Club books I could get my hands on when I was in the fourth and fifth grade, but it's been years and years since I read a book by her. I can name all of the BSC members but I wouldn't call the books in the series "powerful." The BSC books were fun but, you know, ultimately forgettable.
Yeah. Rain Reign is something else.
Rain Reign will stay with me for a long time. It's right up there with Wonder (Palacio), Love That Dog (Creech) and Three Times Lucky (Turnage), which are some of my all-time favorite middle grade novels. I am going to be pushing this book to my sisters, my fellow teachers (especially those who teach fourth grade and up--I'd push it on my own students too, but I teach second grade and they're too young), our school librarian and basically everyone.
Yep, it's that good.
Fifth grade Rose Howard is a high functioning autistic obsessed with homophones, rules and numbers (especially prime numbers). She lives alone with her father, who divides his time working as a mechanic and going to The Luck of the Irish bar drinking beer. One rainy night he comes home with a dog for Rose--basically, it was the best thing he ever did for his daughter. Rose named the dog Rain (Rein, Reign--a special homonym trio!) and she became Rose's companion and best friend. When a really bad hurricane hits their small town, Rain goes missing. Now, Rose must find her dog. But in her search she discovered that Rain's original owners were also looking for him.
I love Rose. I love her voice as she told the story--it's authentic and it really pulls you in. She really resonated with me because I see my brother (he has a learning disability) in her, as well as former students I've had and students I see at my school presently. Reading the parts where her classmates were giving her a hard time and bullying her was painful because my brother went through that. I rejoiced when she finally made a connection with one of the girls in her class. And the way her dad treated her... my God! Good thing she had her uncle. I was so happy with how things turned out for her family by the end of the novel--Rose really, really needed that.
I cannot count the times I teared up while reading Rain Reign. There were so many feels in this book. My heart broke for Rose so many times, especially after she lost Rain. She already had so little in her life and to lose the one thing that made home life bearable... just thinking about it now while I'm writing this review is making me tear up. But Rain Reign was not all misery and sadness, there were some funny moments and uplifting moments that makes you cheer for Rose. And I read the last page with a smile on my face.
Rain Reign is a beautiful, brilliantly written novel with a wonderful heroine who will grab your heart. Like I said, I'm going to be pushing this novel to everyone I know. It's very readable (I actually read it in one sitting) and can be easily read and enjoyed by upper elementary and older students. I urge you to pick up Rain Reign today or tomorrow or whenever, but do not let this novel pass you by.
**I received this book from the publisher for this review.
Well, and this is not a spoiler, the dog doesn't die, but I dare you not to shed a tear while reading the book. That's because Ann Martin does a beautiful job creating complete and complex characters. We meet Rose,who is learning to cope with a world she doesn't understand because she has raspberries syndrome. We get to know her father and his brother uncle Weldon. Martin takes us to school to meet Rose's teachers and classmates. All together they form an amazing story around a girl and her dog.
As for the voice of the book, it was a bit distracting since it is narrated by a child on the autism spectrum who obsesses, in this case, about prime numbers and, most of all, homophones. Once you get used to it, then it becomes less distracting an more educational about how the mind of a child with Asperger's might think.