A New York Times Bestseller!
Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She's thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose's rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose's obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different – not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father.
When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and 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.
Hearts will break and spirits will soar for this powerful story, brilliantly told from Rose's point of view.
Rain Reignby Ann M. Martin
Rain, Reign, a novel told in the first person by Rose, a girl with high functioning Asperger's, is a poignant look into the life of someone struggling with this type of disability. Author Ann Martin gives the readers a realistic portrayal while keeping it age appropriate. Rose is a lover of homonyms (not to be confused with homophones), prime numbers, rules, and routine. However, because of her Asperger's these things tend to get in her way when it comes to social interactions. Not only does the author do a great job reflecting the frustrations of those who don't "get" Rose, but she also includes characters who go out of their way to understand Rose and therefore help her cope, adjust and find her way. These bright stars in Rose's life help her through a lot, but especially when her routine and life is turned upside down because of a hurricane. Because of this natural disaster, her schedule is greatly altered and she loses her beloved dog. However, with the help of others, who love her for who she is, it all works out, even if it is in unexpected ways. Through it all the most enjoyable thing was to see how Rose truly did try to adjust as she took the advice of others. She knew she was different but that it wasn't a bad thing. She knew she needed to try if she wanted others to see past those differences.
Rain, Reign is the perfect read to introduce to younger readers what it is like to have Asperger's or autism. The novel is sure to bring up a lot of questions, but that is how one can become more empathetic--through understanding. It is no wonder that Rain, Reign has received much public acclaim, as it is helping readers understand a difficult subject a little better and helping to create an atmosphere of understanding.
Profanity/Language: 2 religious exclamations; 2 mild obscenities; Note: not counted but worth mentioning--the word 'retard' used 3 times in a derogatory way.
Violence/Gore: Character with Asperger's hits self in the head with hands and a shoe; secondhand account of father having hit a child which resulted in an injury and scar; character shakes another in frustration; secondhand report of someone having called child protective services for a burn injury on a child; character tripped by another kid; character raises fist in a threatening way at a child but doesn't actually hit them; character hits an animal enough to inflict pain.
Mature Subject Matter:
Child abandonment, physical and verbal abuse of a child, death of parents, natural disaster.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Several mentions of father frequenting a bar to drink a beer and often comes home drunk; adult smokes cigarette.
Reviewed By Sally