Summer vacation will be here in a few more weeks! One of my favorite things to do in the summer is read (actually, it’s one of my favorite things to do all year long, I just have more time in the summer!), so I thought I would post some book reviews during the summer months. This is my first book review post, and while the book will not be published until October, I was too excited to wait to share my review. Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing for the advance reading copy.
Sometimes a book grabs you by its intriguing opening line, other times the book grabs you by its simplicity. Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin is one such book. I have enjoyed many of Ann Martin’s books and this story is no exception. Rose Howard is autistic- Asperger’s syndrome to be more exact. She loves homophones (also known as homonyms), rules, and numbers-preferably prime numbers. She is in fifth grade. She lives with her dad and her dog, Rain. But Rose, as an autistic person, has difficulty relating to others. She gets very upset with other people don’t follow the rules, such as raising your hand in class or coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. Her father also has a hard time relating to her. Her father has to attend monthly meetings about Rose’s behavior at school, and he does not like it. Fortunately for Rose, she also has her Uncle Weldon. It is clear that they have a strong bond between them. Uncle Weldon is her safe haven, always supportive and understanding.
When a hurricane hits their small town, Rose’s dad lets Rain out during the storm. Rain disappears and Rose cannot understand why her dad let the dog out. Rose searches for Rain for several weeks, doing so in a very organized manner. What unfolds is a bittersweet story; Rose’s need to follow the rules forces her to make a decision that hurts her dad’s feelings and strains their already strained relationship.
What I found so compelling in the story is the forthright, first-person narration. Rose is direct, honest, with just a trace of emotion. Her nature is for the rules first, though she tries to improve her social interaction skills. This is an excellent story for fans of Wonder by RJ Palacio and Rules by Cynthia Lord.