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Rain Reign

by Martin Ann M.

Published by Feiwel & Friends, 2014
226 pages
ISBN: 978-0-312-64300-3

Ages 8-12

“This is how you tell a story: First you introduce the main character. I’m writing this story about me, so I am the main character.” Rose loves homonyms, prime numbers, and order. It’s important to her that everyone follow the rules. She lives with her dad, Wesley, whose name is not a homonym, and her dog, Rain, whose name is. When Rain disappears during a hurricane, Rose channels her worry into a methodical search with the help of her Uncle Weldon. But in finding Rain she learns that her beloved dog, which her dad brought home for her almost a year before, belongs to someone else. There is so much that is wonderful in this novel, starting with the narrative voice. Rose has Asperger’s and Ann M. Martin firmly and beautifully grounds this story in Rose’s point of view. The ways she engages with people is not always easy for others, including her dad, but Rose is always consistent and there is a clear logic to how she behaves. Her dad, meanwhile, is unstable, sometimes drinking too much, sometimes leaving Rose alone for much too long, sometimes losing control of his anger. Overwhelmed by his own past and the current reality, he falls far short of his intent to do well by Rose. Luckily, Weldon not only loves his niece but truly enjoys her, and as the story develops, Rose begins to make connections with a classmate at school, cultivating a friendship for the first time. A novel rich in every way — language, characterization, character development, plotting — is full of tension and small moments of humor, and packs a powerful emotional punch.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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