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Apple and Rain

by Sarah Crossan

Published by U.S. edition: Bloomsbury, 2015
342 pages
ISBN: 978𢴔19636903

Age 12 and older

After walking out of her life years before, Apple抯 mom is back and seems to understand 14-year-old Apple抯 desire for independence far better than strict and loving Nana. So Apple says yes to living with her mother. It抯 only after she arrives at her mom抯 apartment that Apple learns she has a half-sister, 10-year-old Rain. Rain, who has emotional issues, refuses to go to school. Their mom抯 partying (in which she includes Apple) and financial situation both get worse, and more and more Apple is responsible for her sister. While parts of this novel are predictable桝pple抯 initial resentment of Rain turns to love; Apple抯 new friend Del becomes the steadfast person she relies on; things with her unreliable mom get steadily worse before Apple can bring herself to tell Nana the truth梩he emotion across the story arc is richly and honestly portrayed. The book is divided into sections (Solitude, Fear, War, Love, Disappointment, Poetry), each one aligned to the theme of one of the poems Apple抯 English class is studying with their marvelous teacher. The poems Apple writes for her assignments, also aligned to the themes, become honest expressions of the ways things are spiraling out of control. By novel抯 end, Apple抯 emerging voice as a young poet is something to celebrate along with relief at a safer future for the sisters back with Nana.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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