Rain Reign, don’t go away, stay here for another review day! This week, Robert and Bryan take on the short, endearing book Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin.
Bryan’s quick summary:
What fifth grader Rose Howard lacks in social skills and normal behavior, she makes up for with homonyms. She’s proud of her own homonym name, and the name of her dog, Rain. Not everyone understands Rose’s obsessions, rules, and the other things that make her different, especially not her teachers, classmates, and her single father. When a storm hits their rural town and Rain goes missing, Rose must leave her routines behind to bring her dog back home.
Rain Reign is by Ann M. Martin
So what did we think? (From a reader’s perspective)
1. (Robert) This is a gorgeous story, and beautifully told from Rose’s point of view. The reader assumes her highly routine and rational-based view of the world, and it makes complete sense.
2. (Bryan) Great way of portraying autism without beating you over the head.
3. (Robert) The autistic outbursts in class and at home are hilarious – too much sensory input or and overload of emotions to digest and Rose will burst out into loud counting of prime numbers!
What did we think from a writer’s perspective?
1. (Robert) This is sensational writing. A short story (37,000+ words), it’s a quick read, but sublimely satisfying. There’s not a wasted word or sentence; the dialog is excellent.
2. (Robert) The story is both sad and happy. We are led down not always obvious paths, nor a trite happy ending. To have written this from Rose’s POV, yet still manage to help the reader see why the experience is sad AND bewildering from Rose’s perspective is amazing. Kudos to Anne M. Martin for writing such a sensitive tale. (In case you think it’s all sad … there’s a ton of fun and laugh-out-loud moments in this book!)
3. (Bryan) Real stakes for a small story, and I think that’s hard to do. Kudos to Martin.
Bryan and Robert’s Famous Takeaways:
1. This might be a 12-year old’s story, but it’s still a great YA read, as many teens would identify with Rose’s predicament and confusion.
2. Portray vulnerable characters by embracing their idiosyncrasies.
3. A wonderful insight into how the world might seem different if your brain didn’t function the same way as everyone else’s! This book would make a great book club read, or class discussion.
Prompt of the Week:
What would you do if a member of your family had autism? Would you act differently toward them? Why or why not?