Monday, October 6, 2014

Middle School Monday: Rain Reign by Ann

published October 7, 2014

From Goodreads:  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. 

My thoughtsI received an advanced reader copy of this book via I loved it - Rose is a high functioning autistic child, that is struggling with a one-parent father who has little or no knowledge about what is best for Rose. The only good thing he does is bring home a stray dog on a rainy night, which Rose names "Rain" and bonds with deeply. The book depicts Rose's struggles to fit in at school, cope with her outbursts, and how the rest of her world relates to her love of homonyms (uncle loves them, Dad not so much). Rose's world takes a turn for the worst when during Hurricane Susan when her father lets Rain out to go the bathroom, and the dog does not return.
The way Rose deals with the separation, and her process for finding her dog is inspiring. I loved this book and think it is an excellent choice for middle school readers and beyond.

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