Novelist Lindsey Stoddard manages to package Rain s story into an emotional and engaging story with a strong, resilient, determined preteen at its helm This is very much a book of its time concerns about the environment, the plight of the homeless, and diversity are themes throughout Although the story itself is not terribly original, there is a definite heart feel that is well executed And who can find fault with a book that celebrates literature 5 5 for Right as Rain Thank you to author lindseystoddardwrites and harpercollinsch for the free copy of this book to share with kidlitexchange All opinions are my own.
JUST LIKE JACKIE was a very special read for me in 2018 so I shamelessly begged Stoddard for a copy of her newest book, Right as Rain I m so glad This is a heartprint read for me and one of my favorite reads of 2019 so far Rain is carrying a heavy burden She is sure her beloved older brother Guthrie s death over 350 days is her fault Meanwhile, her father won t get out of bed and her mother is trying to fix the family with a change of scenery, moving them from rural VT to the multicultural, diverse world of Washington Heights in NYC It s the end of the school year, but Rain has opportunities to contribute to her new community as a friend, as a part of a 4x100 m relay team and in helping a neighbor keep her home In giving back, it s just possible that Rain may find herself again and help her family heal, as well.
There s so much here a family dealing with unbearable grief, feelings of otherness in a diverse community not yet her own, gentrification and change, homelessness, adjustment to urban life andRain and her new classmate and track teammate, Frankie, have a complicated relationship from the start that feels authentic and is richly drawn Every character feels like he or she is fully realized I found myself simultaneously wanting to race through the book to find out both what happens in the present and the past the night Guthrie dies is revealed bit by bit in flashbacks and also wanting to slow down and enjoy the characters and the writing Lindsey Stoddard is a new must buy mglit author for me If you missed Just Like Jackie, be sure to go grab it Both Stoddard s works are stunning From The Critically Acclaimed Author Of Just Like Jackie Comes A Strikingly Tender Novel About One Family S Heartbreak And The Compassion That Carries Them Through, Perfect For Fans Of Sara Pennypacker, Lisa Graff, And Ann M MartinIt S Been Almost A Year Since Rain S Brother Guthrie Died, And Her Parents Still Don T Know It Was All Rain S Fault In Fact, No One Does Rain Buried Her Secret Deep, No Matter How Heavy It Weighs On Her HeartSo When Her Mom Suggests Moving The Family From Vermont To New York City, Rain Agrees But Life In The Big City Is Different She S Never Seen So Many People In One Place Or Felt Like An OutsiderWith Her Parents Fighting Than Ever And The Anniversary Of Guthrie S Death Approaching, Rain Is Determined To Keep Her Big Secret Close To Her Heart But Even She Knows That When You Bury Things Deep, They Grow Up Twice As TallReaders Will Fall In Love With The Pluck And Warmth Of Stoddard S Latest Heroine And The Strength That Even A Small Heart Can Lend This book broke me multiple times Most of us have experience with grief and it can be impossible to deal with Now picture you re a kid and you re in a new place and your older brother is dead and it s your fault How Rain is functioning as well as she is is an actual miracle And she s not doing particularly well, but she s not catatonic She s going to her new school and she s trying and she s making friends This reminds me a little bit of Bridge to Terabithia, in that it takes these horrible situations and shows kids the way they really are We live in a world where kids die and it s stupid and senseless but it s reality And at some point, everyone is going to have to deal with grief Right as Rain shows some really healthy ways to do that.
There is a lot to like here I especially loved the descriptions of Rain s New York Neighborhood, and its impending gentrification I do find this author fairly predictable, but not in an intrusive way.
Loved this book the characters, the plot, the writing It wasn t an easy story to tell, it wasn t an easy life for the main character Rain to live moving from rural VT to NYC and starting over with school and friendships, dealing with the hurt and her sense of responsibility for her older brother s death, facing the possibility that her parents might separate because parents often do after the death of a child Author Lindsay Stoddard made it all feel so true at the heart level and the gut level.
Lindsey Stoddard has a gift with middle grade realistic fiction Just Like Jackie is a favorite read for 2018, and so I was excited to have the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book due out in February 2019.
Rain s family is navigating the loss of her older brother Guthrie Her parents have dealt with their grief in opposite ways Her mother is forging forward and starting fresh in a new city, new home, new belongings, and new job Her dad is unable to even move through each day with any purpose or productivity Rain is trapped in the middle of their aching hearts, finding her way in a new school at the very end of the school year with new friends, a new home, in a big new city, leaving everyone and everything familiar behind She also carries the secret truth behind what happened that night when their entire life was abruptly sent into a downward spiral.
I love the vibrant community the family moves to, and the interesting characters Stoddard has created in this moving story about grief, loss, love, and moving on when our hearts are broken Fantastic middle grade novel I loved Stoddard s second book eventhan her first
I will say up front, that Lindsey Stoddard s sopho novel Right as Rain did not hit me with the same personal, emotional punch that her debut JUST LIKE JACKIE did But boy, can Stoddard write She wears her heart on her sleeve as a writer As much as I adored JUST LIKE JACKIE, I think Right as Rain may actually be better written andtightly constructed.
We know right away that a major theme of this story is going to be about the things we bury emotionally as Rain starts the story off with this early memory of her literally burying dresses in the yard when she was young because she refused to wear them I thought this was a perfect visual to set up the theme of the story It speaks metaphorically to the feelings she s buried deep inside about losing her older brother Guthrie In fact, every character in the story is burying something As a big fan of JUST LIKE JACKIE, the structure of Right as Rain felt familiar and Stoddard uses story elements in similar ways In JUST LIKE JACKIE we have Robinson, baseball, auto mechanics, a grandfather with Alzheimer s, and a mystery surrounding Robinson s mother s name In Right as Rain we have Rain, track, gardening, parents grieving the loss of a child, and a mystery surrounding Rain s secret I don t point this out as a bad thing It s a comforting thing to me It s about Stoddard s style and voice being recognizable One of my favorite things about JUST LIKE JACKIE was the figurative language and Right as Rain does not disappoint in this area either Stoddard fills Rain s narrative with perfect similes and metaphors that speak to Rain s character Rain grew up in rural Vermont and her father loves to garden so this is evident in the way she views situations around her The voice is flawless and the style reminds me of Jenni Holm s MAY AMELIA and TURTLE IN PARADISE in this wayAll the streets are one way, so we drive down 151st and back up 152nd, and we have to double park the van because cars are squeezed all the way down both sides of the street with just inches between them You wouldn t even plant seeds in a vegetable garden that close That s why there were seven years and one month between Guthrie and me Dad says to have to give things space to growThis passage tells us so much about Rain s observations in NYC, her relationship with Guthrie, and her father s way of looking at thingsboth of our accents sound like twigs getting caught up in a weed whacker the dominoes men call out to him, Hector, dropping the H and hammering the ec like a tomato plant stake driving against rocky soil I already stick out like a cucumber plant trying to survive in a potato patch I can t get my dad out of his room, and being in apartment number thirty one makes me feel like an overwatered plant whose soil has noair pockets and whose roots can t breathe because they re drowning I wish she d just cry so that I could cry too and it wouldn t feel like we re a retaining wall holding back soil that just wants to crumble out and is so tired of being packed in tight I also loved Stoddard s depiction of life inside a classroom You can tell she has been a teacher because sometimes in children s literature, classrooms can feel so cookie cutter like In Rain s classroom, kids blurt out, they socialize, they chant and cheer, they show anger, they make fun of each other as kids do , but they learn lessons and come together too The activities they do felt like thoughtful projects Rain was in very good hands in Mrs Baldwin s class I m a big fan of Lindsey Stoddard Her writing has a lot of heart and the kids I know that have read JUST LIKE JACKIE have loved it fiercely I have no doubt that Right as Rain will have a similar impact on kids, maybe even so I can t wait to read what she writes next As an adult still experiencing heavy grief, this story helped Rain is a young girl a lot of kids will relate to, but so is Frankie, Amelia, Ana, and even the adults in the book Lindsey does an amazing job of telling a story, one that needs to be heard She also does a great job of hitting on every single characters individuality without overdoing it Preorder now for a February release I promise you need this in your classrooms.