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.
About the Author
Ann M. Martin is the author of Ten Rules for Living with My Sister, Ten Good and Bad Things About My Life, and Everything for a Dog, and Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Whatever Cure. She won a Newbery Honor Award for A Corner of the Universe, and is the author of the beloved Baby-sitters Club series. She lives in upstate New York.
Read an Excerpt
Who I Am—A Girl Named Rose (Rows)
I am Rose Howard and my first name has a homonym. To be accurate, it has a homophone, which is a word that’s pronounced the same as another word but spelled differently. My homophone name is Rows.
Most people say homonym when they mean homophone. My teacher, Mrs. Kushel, says this is a common mistake.
“What’s the difference between making a mistake and breaking a rule?” I want to know.
“Making a mistake is accidental. Breaking a rule is deliberate.”
“But if—” I start to say.
Mrs. Kushel rushes on. “It’s all right to say ‘homonym’ when we mean ‘homophone.’ That’s called a colloquialism.”
“‘Breaking’ has a homonym,” I tell her. “‘Braking.’”
I like homonyms a lot. And I like words. Rules and numbers too. Here is the order in which I like these things:
1. Words (especially homonyms)
3. Numbers (especially prime numbers)
I’m going to tell you a story. It’s a true story, which makes it a piece of nonfiction.
This is how you tell a story: First you introduce the main character. I’m writing this story about me, so I am the main character.
My first name has a homonym, and I gave my dog a homonym name too. Her name is Rain, which is special because it has two homonyms—rein and reign. I will write more about Rain in Chapter Two. Chapter Two will be called “My Dog, Rain (Reign, Rein).”
Something important about the word write is that it has three homonyms—right, rite, and wright. That’s the only group of four homonyms I’ve thought of. If I ever think of another four-homonym group, it will be a red-letter day.
I live with my father, Wesley Howard, and neither of his names has a homonym.
From our porch you can see our front yard and our driveway and our road, which is called Hud Road. Road has two homonyms—rowed and rode. On the other side (sighed) of the road is a little forest, and through the trees you can see the New York Thruway. The word see has a homonym—sea. But even better, sees has two homonyms—seas and seize.
I’m in fifth grade at Hatford Elementary. There’s only one elementary school in Hatford, New York, and only one fifth-grade classroom in the school, and I’m in it. Most of my classmates are ten years old or about to turn eleven. I’m almost twelve because no one is sure what to do with me in school. I’ve stayed back for two semesters, which is a total of one year. (1/2 + 1/2 = 1.)
Some of the things I get teased about are following the rules and always talking about homonyms. Mrs. Leibler is my aide and she sits with me in Mrs. Kushel’s room. She sits in an adult-size chair next to my fifth-grade-size chair and rests her hand on my arm when I blurt something out in the middle of math. Or, if I whap myself in the head and start to cry, she’ll say, “Rose, do you need to step into the hall for a moment?”
Mrs. Leibler tells me that there are things worth talking about besides homonyms and rules and prime numbers. She encourages me to think up conversation starters. Some conversation starters about me that do not have anything to do with homonyms or rules or prime numbers are:
I live in a house that faces northeast. (After I say that, I ask the person I’m trying to have a conversation with, “And which direction does your house face?”)
Down the road, 0.7 miles from my house is the J & R Garage, where my father sometimes works as a mechanic, and 0.1 miles farther along is a bar called The Luck of the Irish, where my father goes after work. There is nothing between my house and the J & R Garage except trees and the road. (Tell me some things about your neighborhood.)
I have an uncle named Weldon, who is my father’s younger brother. (And who else is in your family?)
My official diagnosis is high-functioning autism, which some people call Asperger’s syndrome. (Do you have a diagnosis?)
I will finish up this part of my introduction by telling you that my mother does not live with my father and me. She ran away from our family when I was two. Therefore, the people living in my house are my father and me. The dog living in our house is Rain. Uncle Weldon lives 3.4 miles away on the other side of Hatford.
The next part of my introduction is the setting of my story. I’ve already told you my geographic location—Hud Road in Hatford, New York. The historical moment in time in which this story begins is October of my year in fifth grade.
Now I will tell you something troubling about fifth grade. It isn’t as troubling as what happens later in the story when my father lets Rain outside during a hurricane, but it is still troubling. For the first time in my life I’m being sent home with weekly progress reports that I have to give to my father. The reports are written by Mrs. Leibler and read and signed by Mrs. Kushel, which is my teachers’ way of saying that they’re in agreement about my behavior. The reports list all of my notable behaviors for Monday through Friday. Some of the comments are nice, such as the ones about when I participate appropriately in a classroom discussion. But most of the comments make my father slam the reports onto the table and say, “Rose, for god’s sake, keep your mouth closed when you think of a homonym,” or, “Do you see any of the other kids clapping their hands over their ears and screaming when they hear the fire alarm?”
In the last report Mrs. Leibler and Mrs. Kushel asked my father to schedule monthly meetings with them. Now he’s supposed to go to Hatford Elementary on the third Friday of every month at 3:45 p.m. to discuss me. This is what he said when he read that: “I don’t have time for meetings. This is way too much trouble, Rose. Why do you do these things?” He said that at 3:48 p.m. on a Friday when there was no work for him at the J & R Garage.
Uncle Weldon heard about the monthly meetings on October 3rd at 8:10 in the evening when he was visiting my father and Rain and me.
My father was standing at the front door, holding the letter in his hand and gazing out at the trees and the darkness. “These meetings are crap,” he said.
Uncle Weldon, who was sitting at the Formica kitchen table with me, looked at my father from under his eyelashes and said, “I could go, if you want.” Uncle Weldon has a very soft voice.
My father whipped around and pointed his finger at Weldon. “No! Rose is my responsibility. I can take care of things.”
Weldon lowered his head and didn’t answer. But when my father turned around so that he was facing outside again, my uncle held up two crossed fingers, which was his signal to me that everything would be all right (write, rite, wright). I held up my fingers too (two, to), and we each touched our hearts with them.
After that, Rain came into the kitchen and sat on my feet for a while.
Then my uncle left.
Then my father crumpled the letter from Mrs. Leibler and Mrs. Kushel and tossed it into the yard.
That is the end of the introduction to me.
Copyright © 2014 by Ann M. Martin
Table of Contents
I. The First Part,
1. Who I Am—A Girl Named Rose (Rows),
2. My Dog, Rain (Reign, Rein),
3. The Rules of Homonyms,
4. Some Things About My Father, Whose Name, Wesley Howard, Does Not Have a Homonym,
5. When We Got Rain,
6. Who I Wait For,
7. Why I Don't Ride the Bus,
8. In My Classroom,
9. Mrs. Leibler, Who Sits Next to Me,
10. Anders Isn't Following the Rules,
11. When Rain Went to School,
12. Some More About Homonyms,
13. At the End of the Day,
II. The Part About the Hurricane,
14. The Storm on the Weather Channel,
15. Where We Live,
16. How to Get Ready for a Hurricane,
18. Storm Sounds,
19. Rain Doesn't Come When I Call,
20. Why I Get Mad at My Father,
21. Rain's Nose,
22. What Must Have Happened,
III. The Next Part,
23. Why My Father Gets Mad at Me,
24. I Telephone Uncle Weldon,
25. How to Look for a Lost Dog,
26. Someone Calls Me Ma'am,
27. My Story Is Such a Sad One,
28. Riding with Uncle Weldon,
29. What Not to Do When You Think of a New Homonym,
30. Empty Space,
31. The Good Phone Call,
32. The Happy Tails Animal Shelter in Elmara, New York,
33. What a Microchip Is,
34. What Mrs. Caporale Says,
IV. The Hard Part,
35. The Thing I Have to Do,
36. Mrs. Kushel's Helpful Suggestions,
37. Where Rain Used to Live,
38. The General Store in Gloverstown,
39. Found: Blond Female Dog,
40. Parvani Finds a Homonym,
41. My Father Makes a Mistake with Pronouns,
42. Protecting Rain,
43. What Mrs. Kushel Says,
V. The Last Part,
45. The Quiet House,
46. My Father Has an Argument with His Brother,
47. In the Middle of the Night,
48. What Happened to My Mother,
49. Hud Road,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Rain Reign was amazing, powerful, emotional and I really related to it. I'm giving it 5/5 stars. To tell you guys the truth, when I was contacted to review Rain Reign I didn't quite know what to expect, especially because it's described as a "powerful story" and "brilliantly told." I mean, I devoured all of Ms. Martin's Babysitter's Club books I could get my hands on when I was in the fourth and fifth grade, but it's been years and years since I read a book by her. I can name all of the BSC members but I wouldn't call the books in the series "powerful." The BSC books were fun but, you know, ultimately forgettable. Yeah. Rain Reign is something else. Rain Reign will stay with me for a long time. It's right up there with Wonder (Palacio), Love That Dog (Creech) and Three Times Lucky (Turnage), which are some of my all-time favorite middle grade novels. I am going to be pushing this book to my sisters, my fellow teachers (especially those who teach fourth grade and up--I'd push it on my own students too, but I teach second grade and they're too young), our school librarian and basically everyone. Yep, it's that good. Fifth grade Rose Howard is a high functioning autistic obsessed with homophones, rules and numbers (especially prime numbers). She lives alone with her father, who divides his time working as a mechanic and going to The Luck of the Irish bar drinking beer. One rainy night he comes home with a dog for Rose--basically, it was the best thing he ever did for his daughter. Rose named the dog Rain (Rein, Reign--a special homonym trio!) and she became Rose's companion and best friend. When a really bad hurricane hits their small town, Rain goes missing. Now, Rose must find her dog. But in her search she discovered that Rain's original owners were also looking for him. I love Rose. I love her voice as she told the story--it's authentic and it really pulls you in. She really resonated with me because I see my brother (he has a learning disability) in her, as well as former students I've had and students I see at my school presently. Reading the parts where her classmates were giving her a hard time and bullying her was painful because my brother went through that. I rejoiced when she finally made a connection with one of the girls in her class. And the way her dad treated her... my God! Good thing she had her uncle. I was so happy with how things turned out for her family by the end of the novel--Rose really, really needed that. I cannot count the times I teared up while reading Rain Reign. There were so many feels in this book. My heart broke for Rose so many times, especially after she lost Rain. She already had so little in her life and to lose the one thing that made home life bearable... just thinking about it now while I'm writing this review is making me tear up. But Rain Reign was not all misery and sadness, there were some funny moments and uplifting moments that makes you cheer for Rose. And I read the last page with a smile on my face. Rain Reign is a beautiful, brilliantly written novel with a wonderful heroine who will grab your heart. Like I said, I'm going to be pushing this novel to everyone I know. It's very readable (I actually read it in one sitting) and can be easily read and enjoyed by upper elementary and older students. I urge you to pick up Rain Reign today or tomorrow or whenever, but do not let this novel pass you by. **I received this book from the publisher for this review.
As we all know already, Ann M. Martin is the brilliance behind the Babysitter's Club fandom - one that is now considered a classic and is being read over and over again with each new generation. And now, she has managed to outdo herself a hundred times over with RAIN REIGN... Ms. Martin has managed to capture a voice that will forever live inside of my heart. It also takes a lot of heart, patience and understanding for an author to be able to get inside the mind of a 12-year-old girl who has aspergers and OCD. And then to give her a seemingly simple story to tell, a story that as small as it may seem at first, turns out to be the most powerful and thought-provoking story that I will probably read this year. Only a soulful person can accomplish that. Rose's story will force you to open your mind, and your heart. Rose has a story to tell. A story about her dog, named Rain. You better pay close attention. First, Rose gives us a little bit of a background first. These details are important to the telling of Rain's story... Rose is a 12 year old girl. She's in the 5th grade. She loves her dog Rain. She also loves homonyms, prime numbers and rules. She lives with her dad. Rose's dad has a hard time understanding her. He wants her to stop obsessing over her homonyms list. He doesn't like the monthly meetings at school with her teacher and aide. He gets very upset when she brings home her weekly reports informing him of her outbursts and repetitiveness. Rose tries her best. When things start to go a way that she can't handle, she tries to count using prime numbers only. It helps her calm down, sometimes. And then one rainy day, Rose's dad brings home a gift for her. A dog that has 7 white toes. The two become inseparable. Until the hurricane comes and her dad lets Rain out right after it. Rain goes missing. Why didn't her dad wake her up when he let Rain out? Why did he let Rain out right after a storm? Rose can only do what she does best - keep busy by thinking of a plan to find a Rain. No one can ever imagine what Rose's hard work will lead to. There are so many positive and wonderful things that happen in this book. All of Rose's relationships and encounters are so well thought out. Not only with her father and Rain, but with her uncle, classmates and even strangers. The reality of a girl with aspergers/OCD can be harsh and heartbreaking. But seeing and hearing it through Rose's eyes gave me a new perspective and understanding. At times, Rose had me in a fit of giggles and awe, at other times, I would get so angry or sad for her. Many tears were shed for my little friend. By the time I started the third chapter, I kept forgetting that I was reading a contemporary story about a little girl. It really felt like I was reading an autobiography. Rose is so real to me. All of her emotions, logic and feelings were so raw and full of innocence and life. It is really hard to comprehend that Rose is just a character that Ms. Martin gave a voice to. To me, she's real. And I would do anything to meet her. I would like to share the homonyms that I thought of that she didn't mention in her story... mince/mints and tighten/titan. Maybe they're on her list. Maybe not. Either way, I'd hope to impress her. The ending to Rose's story is heartwarming with a tinge of longing. I very much hope to hear from Rose again. I would like to see her as a teen, young woman... I'd like to grow up with her and follow her along through life, through her eyes. She's full of heart and extremely smart. I have high hopes for her future... No matter what your favorite genre is, this is definitely a book that everyone should read. I promise you, Rose will leave some sort of imprint on you - she will teach you something, make you feel something you never have before, make you think twice - she will touch your heart. (*An ARC was sent to me by the publisher for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.)
This book was great. Loved it
This story is really emotional, brilliant, and just amazing. I highly recommend this book to anyone.
Totally recommend this book, it's so awesome!!!! From the moment I picked up this book, I knew I would love it forever!!!:D
I thought that this book made you feel like you were inside the story. Also i think the book was very detailed. If you like a book that makes you feel like you are in the book this a book for you.
I honestly liked it a lot. A little weird. A little sad. The perfect mix.
Rain Reign has had a great on my perspective of children like me and others that have disabilities like Rose.I have felt every emotion an thought as if it were my own.I have always treated everybody equal since I was little.Rose has givin me hope so that I can do anything I want and that as long as I follow my dream I can do those things...I fell in love with Rose and Rain as if they were my family.When I read this,at the end I completely forgot that she had aspergers(aka autism).I love this book with all my heart,bottom to top,and I would definetly recommend this amazing,heart-warming,book for everybody of all ages!!!Thank you!!!Love,Cheyenne
Read this for my daughter's middle school family book club. We both enjoyed it. A simple read, not a long book but an intense little story that will make you both smile and cry. Well written with a simple premise but not so simple emotional journey to the ending. Highly recommend.
I LOVED this book and expect to see it among the ALA Newbery Book Awards next January :-)
Rain Reign was Fantastic nothing what i expected to Be,
I have no words for this book it is very emotinal and will touch youre heart it is worth every penny
This book is amazing. I read it in fith grade a few years ago but it was one of the best books ive ever read before. Best book ever
i got this book in July of 2015 when i heard that the book's main character has autism i was thrilled because i can relate to rose because i have autism myself i am currently writing my own book who's main characters are three siblings with autism
Hi everyone! This looks like a good book, One i could really relate to, but i was just wondering If the dog Rain dies in it because that happens a lot in Books where the dog goes missing and i wont be able To it if has that cause im sensitive to that stuff. Please Let me know if it does Thanks :)
I want to read it but for my step mom will not read it and if there are any ppl out there that want to talk to me just say to pandagirl88 or if you have a gmail add me at amber208338@gmail,com
Excellent! It tugs at heart strings for both human and canine characters, and it really does have some intensity for being geared at younger audiences. Very well done, with a very well written and believably autistic main character. Loved this book!
I personaly would want the Nook company to state the number of pages on ALL books not just this book. If there is a way to find this information or if you agree with me (really something just like that) could you please reaspond to "page numbers". Thank you.
This is such a heart touching book and had so many great twists. This would be and amazing and emotional book for anyone who reads it