Rain Reign (hardcover)
by Ann M. Martin
AR Level 4.3, 5 points
I had mixed feelings about wanting to read Rain Reign, because 1) it got good reviews and was in the discussion for a Newbery, and 2) it’s be the same author as The Baby-Sitter’s Club, one of my childhood favorites. I think I read nearly all of them at least twice (some more) until she stopped writing them herself. Plus, I had no idea what the book was about, but that hasn’t stopped me before.
Rose is a 12 year-old fifth grader with high-functioning autism (aspergers syndrome). She is obsessed with prime numbers and homophones, which are repeated to the point of annoyance throughout the book, but to me, this emphasizes how some people get so frustrated with her. She lives with her dad, who is a mechanic and frequents the local bar, but her uncle takes her to and from school, and acts as a better role model and seems to understand Rose’s uniqueness. Rose also has a dog named Rain (Reign, the homophone) and one day during a superstorm (Hurricane Susan, aka Hurricane Irene), her dad lets Rain out, and Rain doesn’t come back. Rose is forced to make some tough decisions, as well as the people around her.
What I liked about this book is the development of Rose’s character. Ann M. Martin was always good at writing well thought-out characters, and you could really put yourself in their shoes. Rose isn’t a character most of us can relate to, being autistic, but it helps to see life with her disability through her eyes. For my students, this means teaching compassion and understanding and tolerance, and I am ALWAYS up for a book that will teach these important traits that aren’t in the curriculum.
What I didn’t like about this book was how sad it was. It was sad while being hear-warming at the same time. It restores your faith in people to do what is unselfish, both on the part of Rose and her father. So I guess that’s a good thing, not something I didn’t like! If you’re a reluctant reader, this book will suck you in immediately. It took me a few hours from beginning to end, and I finished it in one day.
Book 4 of 10 (summer goal)