Ann M.Martin knows kids. Ann M. Martin knows dogs. And, Ann M. Martin can really tell a story. In her 2007, In A Dog's Life:Autobiography of a Stray, Squirrel, an abandoned pup, tells her tale of abuse, hunger, loneliness, and friendship. In her 2014 book, Rain Reign (Feiwel and Friends), Rose Howard, a fifth grader, straightforwardly informs the reader, "My official diagnosis is high-functioning autism, which some people call Asperger's syndrome (Do you have a diagnosis?)"
Rose uses a whole dictionary of homophones (including her name, Rose, and her dog's Reign/rain) to tell her story of love, loss. and perseverance. Rose is strong. Rose endures rabid teasing from classmates, frustration emanating from teachers, and rejection from her tormented father. Rose likes rules. Rose follows rules so much so that she is willing to give-up Rain, the one being who is always there for her. Rain helped to bridge the divide between Rose and her classmates, Rain waited every day when Rose got home from school, and Reign slept with Rose from that very first night. When Rain goes missing during the aftermath of a hurricane, Rose breaks from her routines and boldly goes beyond her comfort zone to find her dog. And that's when she discovers the truth, Rain belongs to the Henderson family.
Grab a box of tissues, hug your dog, and cheer for Rose. Rain Reign is a winner. A great book to put on everyone’s summer reading list!