Author: Ann M. Martin
Published October 7th, 2014 by Feiwel & Friends
Goodreads Summary: 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 Review and Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Rose reminded me of a dear student I had when I was teaching. Because I had this strong connection with her character, I felt very attached to the story, in general. Rose is a passionate, caring young girl, and I think students will learn much from her.The story line is well-done, and I appreciated that it wasn’t a problem novel that only focused on her disorder. Her bond with her dog, her bravery, and her relationship with her uncle teach great lessons. This book reminded me of Wonder by R.J. Palacio because it teaches empathy quite well. It is one of those books that makes me want to be a better person. While Rose’s repetition may feel overdone, it is her reality, and Ann M. Martin hits that home. Rose pushes and pushes her father and teachers (at the same time as she pushes and pushes the reader) in ways that are a hallmark of Asperger’s. It shows the realities of individuals who live with this disorder. I think it is incredibly important for students to read books about people who are different from them, so they can see the similarities despite the differences in characters. I would love to use this book as a read-aloud.
Kellee’s Review: Check out Kellee’s Review here!
Discussion Questions: Was Rose’s dad an evil man? What can we learn from him?; Do you think Rose made the right choice about Rain?; How does Rose make friends in school? What can we learn from her?
We Flagged: “I’m going to tell you a story. It’s a true story, which makes it a piece of nonfiction.”
Read This If You Loved: Rules by Cynthia Lord, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine, Out of my Mind by Sharon Draper, Each Kindness by Jaqueline Woodson; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon