Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hello everyone,
Sorry for the lack of posts. Work has been kicking me in the butt lately (teacher evaluations, report cards, professional development workshops, mandatory new teacher stuff--it never seem to end!) and it's messing up my reading schedule. But it's fall break now (one week of no school) and I have a chance to breathe a little bit and catch up with my reading and blogging.

The book I'm featuring today is called Rain Reign and it's by Ann M. Martin--you might recognize her name because she wrote the Babysitter's Club series! Rain Reign comes out today and I urge you to pick it up. It's sooooo good and it has all the FEELS, you guys!

Need more convincing? Read on.

Format: ARC
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 240 pages
Release Date: October 7, 2013
Source of my copy: publisher
Synopsis
In her most powerful novel yet, Newbery Honor author Ann M. Martin tells the story of girl with mental/emotional challenges and the dog she loves.
Rose Howard has OCD, Asperger’s syndrome, and an obsession with homonyms (even her name is a homonym). She gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Rain was a lost dog Rose’s father brought home. Rose and Rain are practically inseparable. And they are often home alone, as Rose’s father spends most evenings at a bar, and doesn’t have much patience for his special-needs daughter.
Just as a storm hits town, Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search. Rose will find Rain, but so will Rain’s original owners.
Hearts will break and spirits will soar for this powerful story, brilliantly told from Rose’s point of view.



Minor spoilers

Rain Reign was amazing, powerful, emotional and I really related to it. I'm giving it

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 (it comes out today!) or tomorrow or whenever, but do not let this novel pass you by.
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Happy reading,
Michelle

2 comments:

  1. This is one I've heard about and have on my must read list. Sounds like I need to get it for my high school library kids too. Thanks for sharing! Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Lisa! I hope your high school kids will give it a chance... I know some school kids are iffy reading "down" (the narrator is 5th grade). I think it's really worth reading. :)

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