Literary Guide for Ann M. Martin’s Rain Reign
Appropriately titled with a homonym pair, Ann M. Martin’s Rain Reign is told through the eyes of a young girl on the Autism spectrum whose two loves in life are homonyms and rules. Rose’s love of these things, unfortunately, often stands in the way of her ability to connect with those around her – including her father, a single parent with little patience for Rose’s needs. Through Rose’s narration, readers learn about the thoughts that drive her mind and the compulsions that fuel the behaviors that those around her cannot seem to understand.
Rose learns how to forge a deep connection when her father brings her home a dog, who she names Rain due to the very special triple homonym nature of the word (it matches both reign and rein). Rose cares for Rain herself, taking her responsibilities as a pet owner very seriously. But when a hurricane hits Rose’s home in upstate New York, Rain is lost in the storm. With homes destroyed, power lines downed, and roads (such as Rose’s) washed out, it’s nearly impossible for Rose to search for Rain. Showing incredible resilience and determination as a result of her intense love, Rose pushes herself to search long and hard for Rain – encountering new opportunities and challenges she couldn’t have imagined.
More than just a story about a lost dog, Rain Reign touches on themes of family, trust, communication, and understanding. Ann M. Martin weaves clues into Rose’s tale of heartbreak and determination that suggest change is to come, and Rose’s search for Rain turns out to be a search for much more than just a pet.
The story’s easy-to-read text and layers of deeper meaning make it a perfect book for middle-grade readers (ages 9-13). The story does include some challenging mature themes (including alcoholism), however, that make it more appropriate for readers on the older end of the middle-grade range. Using our literature guide, families and educators of all kinds can support middle-grade readers in strengthening their critical thinking skills, exploring sound and spelling patterns within the English language, and using Rain Reign as a catalyst for studying everything from the Autism Spectrum and ethics to hurricane damage and map-making!
- Download literary guide for Ann M. Martin’s Rain Reign.