Welcome back to the site that aims to please the reader in you....Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
If you stopped by this weekend, you may have noticed that the blog went a bit silent....dead silent. It's not because I've thrown in the towel...rather quite the opposite actually. For those that know and those that don't, I'm still turning the pages rapidly on a self imposed reading challenge I announced on Twitter/Facebook last week....to recap, I'm trying to read ALL the book sin the House of Night series prior to the release of the FINAL installment, of which I'll be reviewing RIGHT HERE come the 17th. Thus far, I'm making headway, but not as far along as I would like. Why? Not for lack of interest, I assure you...more like a plethora of previous obligations that I must tackle at the same time. *sigh* So many books, so little time. HOWEVER, though those sentiments are true to their core, when today's featured title crossed my path for a review opportunity, I couldn't say no. Why? Well, I'm glad you asked...
For reasons that range from my interest in the story to the curious cover, my puzzlement over the title itself to my affinity for many of the books put forth by the publisher...and one thing more. If you haven't noticed yet, allow me to blow the lid off the final reason (yet not least of them all) this book carries appeal from the start.....THE AUTHOR. Go ahead, look again. Yep. ANN M MARTIN! The very same mind that brought us several recent works but perhaps most memorable of all, The Babysitter's Club series!
Remember Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey? How about Mallory (whom I tested as being most like, go figure) or Stoneybrook Academy itself? Now I see the dawning of recognition in your eyes....so you see, I made a hole in my schedule to fit this post and TADA! I'm bringing my thoughts to you today, the eve before its official release (TOMORROW folks....mark your calendars!), to tantalize, to capture, and otherwise help bring your interest to the edge so you're ready for tomorrow. Ready guys and gals? Here we go! From the land of Middle Grade Fiction, today's book of choice is...
Feiwel & Friends
About the book....
Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She’s thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose’s obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different – not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father.
When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and 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.
This story is about many things....
...storms, both in nature and life
...autism and how it affects not just the individual but the whole
...but most of all, the power of the heart.
It begins and ends with Rose. Rose is a very special little girl and those that can't see it...are seriously missing out. I love how the author gave our leading lady a voice to remember and shone a light on a diagnosis often misunderstood. It shows that those with Aspergers syndrome are not simply unusual, or unable to keep up with things....quite the opposite actually. They are quite intelligent, often times more so than you or I; they just process things differently. It's more a world of black and white, right and wrong, with no room for the gray zone. How frustrating it must be to be unable with a few words to get your point across....simply because your viewpoint is different.
Through Rose, we get to see both sides of this diagnosis...her own frustrations and struggles as well as those around her. It's hard to see how some of the children (classmates...oye vay) and adults respond to her (her own father) and yet....not all hope is lost. There are some that take the time to get to know her, to understand what she needs, what she means, and in the end are better for it (way to go Uncle Wheldon...and Parvani!). There are also some that offer their love unconditionally and without reserve. Some that may not walk on two legs, but can be counted on to be the best company consistantly that anyone could ask for....in this case, it's Rain.
Heard of man's best friend? Well, this is a girl's best friend and she couldn't be any more welcome in this household (by most anyway). It was wonderful to see how Rain helped offer a starting point for breaking the ice with her classmates, something for her to focus on that still made sense and was orderly besides homonyms, prime numbers, and rules. If there was a therapy that worked best for her, she was it. You could see the changes in her, not only with her ability to focus more, but to communicate more easily. In turn, Rose helped Rain to reconnect with the world, reveal her true heart and in the end, reach a happy ever after that may not include herself. (No, I won't spoil it for you, but just keep a tissue handy because I certainly teared up.) In fact, they are both due for some more joy in their lives, even if how they get there is anything but expected.
In the end, we find out what it truly is to be brave, what it truly means to put others before yourself, and that the size of the person does not determine the size of their heart. Follow Rose and Rain (Reign) on a tumultuous journey that will find you at all ends of the emotional spectrum while leaving you with pearls of wisdom, moments of insight, and a satisfying end for one and all. Recommended for middle grade readers and beyond.
ARC for review courtesy of Mary at MacMillan Children's Publishing Group. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as their growing catalog, be sure to stop by their official site, catch up with them on Facebook, or tweet up a storm on Twitter. To discover more about the author behind the work, visit Ann Martin on Facebook or Twitter. This title is set for release 10/7/14 via Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of MacMillan, so be on the look out for it on a bookstore shelf or online retailer of your choosing.
Until next time....happy reading!