Tuesday, March 14, 2017

RAIN REIGN by Ann M. Martin

Rebekah’s Homonym List:
Break - Brake
Chews - Choose
For - Four/Fore
Pair - Pear/Pare
Rain - Reign/Rein
Rose - Rows

Book #4 in our Mother-Son Book Club

RAIN REIGN by Ann M. Martin


Rose Howard has Asperger’s syndrome, and is obsessed 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. Not everyone understands Rose’s obsessions, her rules, or the other things that make her different – not her teacher, not other kids, and not her single father. 
When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, 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. 
223 pages


3.5 out of 5 *Stars*

This book took me to a place I had never been before.  Into the mind of a character with a form of autism, Asperger’s.  Because of this, it was a little hard to follow.  The book kept veering off track from the storyline and endlessly talking about homophones, also known as homonyms.  I get it.  I know why.  It’s because the book is written as if Rose is telling a story, and her mind is obsessed with homophones.  Even though I understood why, it still didn’t make it easier to follow.
At the beginning of chapter 3, Rose says “If you are not interested in homonyms at all, stop-reading here and skip to Chapter 4.” Of course my son took this literally and went ahead a chapter.  I read it, and sure enough it was all about Rose’s list of homonyms and her rules of what makes them. 
The story Rose takes us through is when she loses her dog, her best friend, the night of a hurricane.  She copes with the loss, with the struggle to find him, with the lack of understanding from her dad, and even her heartache, all in her own way, with the help of her best Uncle Weldon.  It was a quick read, and by the end, you learn to roll with the homonyms because you know that’s how Rose sees the world. 

“I look across the field again, and then up to the sky, which is a vast pale blue.  I remember the music festival, and the notes that soared above our heads.  I think about the homonyms soared and sword. They’re an interesting pair, because soared is a very nice word, especially when you imagine musical notes swooshing through the evening air, but sword indicates weaponry, so that isn’t a nice word at all. That’s one of the many things I like about homonyms. Most of them seem unrelated, some seem to be opposites, like soared and sword, but a few make lovely connections if you’re open to changing your perspective when you think about them.

I stand up, then squint my eyes shut for (fore/four) a moment, remembering the night (knight) with Uncle Weldon when the music soared (sword) through (threw) the air (heir/err), and the notes and the sky and our (hour) hearts were one (won).”

That’s a small glimpse to how the book is written.  Rose has such a beautiful heart, and once you learn to read past the homonyms, you can truly see that. 
In the book, you want to hate her dad.  I know that I did. Let me just say, it is hard being a parent.  We all do and say things we are not proud of, and it is way harder for a parent of a child that has special needs, especially for a solo parent such as Rose’s dad.  Rose was different, and it was hard for him to accept.  He would get mad at her easily over the things she couldn’t help; extra meetings at school, the extra attention that she needed, her unique way of thinking, or even her homophone list. He’s not perfect by any means, but by the time you finish the book, you know that he truly loved her as much as he could.

********************Young Reader Review********************
I didn’t enjoy there being so many homophones.  It was a good book, but it would have been better and easier to follow without so many of them.  It was hard to relate to the main character because of her Asperger’s, but I really enjoyed reading about her Uncle.  He was nice and had a lot of patience with Rose.  I would recommend the book for other kids my age to read.  It wasn’t my favorite, but it was still good. 

I also would recommend this book for any young reader.  The story is a little mundane for adults, but it’s a good book to show young kids that even though someone is different, they still feel and think the same way as everyone else.  You just have to work a little harder to understand them.  Good read!
Until next time…

Happy Reading, Everyone!!
For more on this book and where you can find it, click here.