There’s a reason Ann M. Martin is in a class to herself when it comes to writing some of the best middle grade fiction of the last few decades. It’s because she is simply that good, and nowhere is that more clear than in her newest book, Rain Reign.
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.
Martin has beautifully captured the thoughts and struggles of a young girl on the Autism Spectrum. Through Martin’s diligent work and thoughtful writing, readers glimpse Rose’s struggles and worries and thoughts. Martin allows us to see the world through her eyes.
The story itself is a simple one, yet the power of Rain Reign is in Martin’s masterful storytelling. Through Rose’s story, she captures readers’ hearts and gives them a reason to emotionally invest in the outcome. We need to know what happens; we need to see Rose through this struggle.
Filled with heartache and heart, Rain Reign is a captivating story of soaring brilliance. It reminded me, once again, of why Martin’s books were such a huge part of my childhood, and why they have stuck with me as an adult. Rain Reign is in stores today.