Sunday, May 10, 2015

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Rose Howard reigns in the world of prime numbers, homophones, and rules. Her autism makes it difficult for her to control the urge to yell in school. She lives with her father, a mechanic, who likes to drink at the Luck of the Irish pub after or during work. Fifth grader Rose lives with Rain, an abandoned dog that her dad found behind the pub, and the two are inseparable and left alone more than is good for a child. She's not too emotional and faces her father's shortcomings with stoicism. Her Uncle Weldon takes her to and from school and is more caring than her father. The family works through problems and issues until they reach a crisis.

The plot of this book is simple and somewhat hard to write about and not give away. It is predictable in one way but with some twists that don't make it boring. The theme of doing what is right and emotional attachments to pets and being responsible are implied by the father's actions versus Rose. It would make for good discussions. The father does the best that he can but does not know how to handle Rose's autism; add in a temper and you have a ticking time bomb character.

I do not think first person point-of-view works for books with characters that are autistic because the voice does not sound authentic in parts. In order to convey complex thoughts and inner monologues, the words the character uses is in contrast with the handicap being portrayed. While Rose speaks in short, terse sentences, sometimes her descriptions of her emotions sounds too sophisticated. This doesn't happen often, but when it does it is jarring and makes me notice the writing while pulling me out of the narrative. Maybe this was the author's intent. But that, along with the bombardment of homophones in the beginning, made me not love this one. I know of too many other books that are more memorable.

3 Smileys

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