After the Rain

After the Rain

by Norma Fox Mazer


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380750252
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/28/1987
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.51(d)
Lexile: 600L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Norma Fox Mazer, who lives in Montpelier, Vermont, has written nearly thirty novels and short-story collections for young adults. Her novels, including Missing Pieces, Out of Control, Girlhearts, and the Newbery Honor Book After the Rain, are critically acclaimed and popular among young readers for their portrayal of teens.

Read an Excerpt


Look down on this scene," Rachel writes in her notebook. "Three people in a kitchen, sitting around a table. A man, a woman, and a girl." She glances up, squints at her parents. "The three people are together but not together. The man and the woman know the girl is there, but they don't really see her. They see her, but they don't really know her.

Rachel chews on her pen. Should she name them? No, it pleases her to call them "the man," "the woman," and "the girl.

The kitchen is long and narrow. Cupboard doors stand open, a mop leans against a wall, the calendar is still turned to" --she looks at the calendar over the wall phone -- "August, although it's now late September. Okay, okay, not bad. What next? She studies the linoleum floor. Her mother is a bear about floor washing. Should she put in that the floor is clean? Ho-hum. "The floor," she writes, after a moment, "is fiercely clean. The toaster oven gleams and glows from a recent polishing.Should she write more for the opening? Or is that already too much? How do you know when to stop? She is working on a story about her family. She hopes it will be a story. So far, in almost two years of dedicated writing -- something in the journal everyday -- she has managed only to write opening sentences, first paragraphs, the beginnings of stories. But even if she finished them, would they be real stories? Aren't stories supposed to come out of your imagination? How will she ever become a writer if the only things she can think to write about are her mother, her father, herself?Two years ago the writer Wilda Sycora came to their school and talked to Rachel's class in the library. Rachel had read all ofWilda Sycora's books and made sure to get a seat close to the front of the room."You don't know how much you have inside you," Wilda Sycora said. "I know there's somebody in this room who wants to be a writer." She pushed her glasses up on her nose, looked around the room. "Whoever you are, don't be afraid of what's inside you. Don't be afraid to invent, to be original, to be yourself.Sitting hunched over, her arms around herself, Rachel knew those words were meant for her. A space seemed to open in her mind, light poured in, a clear white light, and for a moment she stood in the center of that light.Now she reads over what she wrote. No. No good. These words are meant for the wastebasket. She crosses out everything she's written, then tears the page out of her notebook and rips it into little scraps.Her mother looks across the table. Oh, Rachey, your beautiful writing. Was it something for English class?Rachel keeps a shielding arm poised over the top of her notebook. Her parents are having their after supper cup of coffee. The three of them are elbow to-elbow. How cozy that sounds, like a regular little Cosby family. Every Thursday night Rachel watches The Cosby Show with amazement in her heart. Look at that smart, beautiful mommy! Look at that wise, funny daddy! Look at those gorgeous sisters and cute hunk of a brother, all of them saying clever, funny things to each other faster than anyone can say, "Call a family conference!Rachel's family has never had anything remotely like a family conference. They hardly ever say witty things to each other, and nobody is a lawyer or a doctor. Her mother is a secretary; her father runs a little accounting business; her oldest brother, Phil is a car salesman; and her other brother, Jeremy, is presently a waiter.She flips to another page in her notebook. She has an English theme to write, which she's been resisting for days, out of sheer boredom. How is it possible that in tenth grade they are still being asked to write "How I Spent My Summer"?Maybe she ought to write a letter to Mr. Esparza, he of the dark eyes and white linen suits. Dear Mr. Esparza,Sir!Mercy on us, your helpless English students. Could you not find it in your heart to assign something better for us to write about than how we spent our summers? As you have been known to say, "a more enlivening topic"? This is a plea from the heart. I fear that one day soon you will walk into English 10 and find nothing but a heap of bored corpses drooped over their notebooks.Yawningly yours,Rachel Cooper (Remember me? I'm the one who sits in the third seat in the first row.)
How I spent my summer vacation.
My summer was busy and bla bla bla. I was fortunate and bla bla bla to be able to work in my father's office. As my parents both work and I am too old for camp, I was bla bla bla that I would be bored this summer, but that wasn't the bla bla bla bla bla.
How I Spent My Summer by Rachel Cooper
In brief, my summer was much like other summers -- long, hot, and basically uninteresting. I worked a few hours every week in my father's office, filing papers and sweeping the floor. I swam in the high school pool, wrote letters to my brother, and cooked many meals for my parents, all of which were overly appreciated. Overly appreciated, you say? Yes, I say. My parents are lavishly appreciative of any little thing I do. This might sound wonderfully satisfying, but in fact it's embarrassing and even slightly infuriating. It's so patronizing.

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After The Rain (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't say that this book is riveting and outstanding but it is definitely worth your time! I found myself laughing and smiling at some points. Others are very heartfelt and warm. I think a lot of people can relate to Rachel. Overall this book is great for anyone looking for a leisure time book.
Whisper1 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This 1988 Newbery honor book tackles the difficult subject of family relationships, anticipatory grief and care taking of an elder relative.Highly intelligent fifteen year old Rachel is the child of older parents. Feeling smothered by unnecessary attention, she is out of touch with them. In addition, her intelligence marks her as unapproachable and thus she doesn't quite understand how to fit in with peers.Rachel's grandfather Izzy is diagnosed with cancer. Known as a cantankerous, crabby, judgmental and inappropriately, brutally honest man, he pushes those who love him away. As Rachel reaches out to her grandfather and tests the boundaries by insisting on helping him, gradually a very special relationship develops.Aware of the limitations of time, through love and compassion, Rachel discovers confidence and strength she never knew she had. In helping her grandfather, she learns the power of family and friends.Beautifully told, the author never dove in the waters of sentimentality. There is a very real, honest depiction of the difficulty of relationships. The author does not stoop to placing a big red bow on a neat package, nor does she shine an unnecessary harsh light on dysfunction, rather, she writes and honest, realistic portrayal of life and death.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
morgananne More than 1 year ago
i love this book!!! irad it for my 7th grade reading project because of its point value... and now im in 9 th grade and i just finished reading it again. during sad parts she went into alot of detail, that she had me cyring and i never cry and during the parts with lewis she had me smiling and wanting more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that this was a good book but it could have been better. I have read many books and this was not the best one that I have read. So I think that this book was okay. but that is me. If you do read this book then good for you. It tells what a 15 year old girl is going through and how her realitionship is with her faimly and friends. And how she wants to get her first kiss before she is 16. so if you dont have this book I think that you should just read it fist and if you do like it then get it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It made me cry so much, if i could I would recommend this book to everyone in the whole world! It was outstanding, I felt I was the character! Read it!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! This book is so great!!!!!! I devoured it in a few days and was crying at the end! Definetly a book worth buying!
Guest More than 1 year ago
After the rain is a heart-warming story about a girl and her struggles as a teenager who doesn't have a boyfriend. She has to aslo deal with her grandfather's grumpiness.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book by Norma Fox Mazer is an excellent one. It's about a fifteen year old girl making a wonderful friendship with her hard-to-handle grandfather, who soons dies afterward. I came across this book in my school library. I didn't know what book to get so I closed my eyes and pointed to a book. Boy was I glad my finger picked this one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Overall, I felt 'After the Rain' to be an exceptionally well written novel. Norma Fox Mazer does an excellent job of keeping the story line and characters realistic, which makes for more desirable reading. The author makes you feel as if you actually know the main character, Rachel, with the vast amount of insight into her thoughts and feelings. The story is of a terminal illness bringing an entire family together. An unreachable old man is diagnosed with cancer of the lungs, and with perseverance and love, his granddaughter forms a close relationship with him. By the end of the novel, Rachel and her grandfather become inseparable. Because the death of the elderly man is inevitable, the book deals with the acceptance of letting go of ones you love. Although this was a good novel, a flaw I found was the lack of detail in many of the supporting characters. I would highly recommend 'After the Rain,' especially to those who enjoy an exceedingly realistic story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the most amazing book. I love it when MRs. Mazer writes all the thoughts in Rachel's head, tells the readers what she's thinking. The story is even more amazing. This book has to be one of my favorites. Deffinetly! I found it in the Labrary, and say, 'what the heck...i wouldn't hurt to read it.' So i've read it! & i can't put it down...yez, i cried, even though it's the 4th times i'm reading it, i still cry, it's not that sad, but...u'll know what i mean when u read it. so, yea, try this book, and i garentty u that u'd love it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very, very good. It's detailed, one of those books that you feel like you're in. The only problem is it can get very sad at times. The characters are true to life, very believable. This book is also very original, you don't see many books on relationships between granddaughters and grandfathers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great book about a teenager and her growing relationship with her Grandfather. An excellent book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book 'After The Rain' by Norma fox Mazer is an excellent one. It really shows how a special relationship can develop between a girl, and her hard-to-handle dying grandfather.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book where else but my favorite bookstore, Barnes and Noble. And this book is really good. It starts out a little slow but it really grabs your attention and forces you to finish the book so you know what happens. I like the fact that this book is realistic, it talks about the feelings of a 15 year old girl Rachel, losing her grandfather and worrying that she might never get her first kiss. If you happen to run into this book I suggest you read it! It's awesome! So just try reading it, but remember it doesn't get good till like the 5th chapter. (the chapters are short)
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for something great to read ... and is easy to enjoy ... this is it.