Parents' Guide to

Rain Reign

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Poignant tale of autistic girl and her dog.

Rain Reign Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 10+

wanted to love it, but disapointing

I wanted to read this with my autistic daughter, but I felt the portrayal of the character was flat. It is a myth that autistics don't feel emotions. I know every child is different, but this really felt like a stereotype rather than a real child. I really wanted to love this book, but I was disappointed reading it to my seven year old. Also, there is a swear word, and mention of child abuse (by the grandfather to the father) so it was not age appropriate for a younger child.
age 9+

Wanted to love it but felt disappointed

I had been looking forward to sharing this book with my daughter as it was hailed to be a great book showing a strong autistic main character. However instead when I was reading it I felt slightly uncomfortable with the portrayal. Every autistic is different and I was not expecting all the character traits to resonate but I was hoping for a complex and interesting character. Instead it felt like a caricature or shadow of a girl - she was lovely but there was something missing and some of the autistic traits felt laboured. It felt like it was what a neurotypical adult would think of an autistic child if they had never met one. Instead of being "more and experiencing sensations more " the character felt "less" than if it was a book about a normal child. Instead of being overwhelmed by feelings it was like the author was buying into the incorrect stereotype that autistics are emotionless and don't feel empathy. The storyline was well written, with a good arc and had some beautiful moments in it but I was after a book that showed that being autistic or different didn't mean less or apart from society. This book didn't do it. The intentions may have been good but it did not feel like it was going to make any child reading it inclusive to autistics.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Parents of autistic children are always looking for more positive and true depictions of kids on the spectrum, and this one fits the bill quite well. Parent memoirs are plentiful enough (and awfully heavy for the most part), but what do we read with our kids and their neurotypical siblings and peers that's at their reading level? Books such as RAIN REIGN are not that easy to find. And the spectrum is so broad there's no capturing the group as a whole. But Ann M. Martin's Rose does get to the heart of life as a high-functioning autistic child. Rose's intense interest in homonyms and black-and-white rule-bound thinking are right on. And yes, parents, your kid will start their own homonym lists after reading this. You've been warned.

Making Rose's father a slightly more sympathetic character would have added more depth to the story. Neither Rose nor readers ever get close enough to him. Rose's touching relationship with her Uncle Weldon does much to make up for this. So does Rose's selfless act near the end of Rain Reign. Rose's father may not understand her decision, but readers will. It's a lovely moment that gives Rose and all the wonderful autistic children like her the admiration and empathy they so deserve.

Book Details

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