A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Shouting at the Rain is by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, author of Fish in a Tree, which also features a strong girl who's been dealt some hard knocks. Seventh-grader Delsie McHill lives with her grandmother, who's a caretaker for a summer rental property on Cape Cod. Delsie's favorite summer friend has befriended a mean girl, who teases and bullies Delsie. A new kid in town named Ronan has his own problems with his parents, and he's been acting out, getting in fights, and making dangerous decisions. Delsie learns that her mother was drinking and taking drugs too much to be able to take care of her. She worries about what will become of her if Grammy were to get sick or die, but her neighbors and friends help calm her fears and make her feel safe.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In SHOUTING AT THE RAIN, Delsie McHill, a seventh-grader living in Cape Cod, Massachusets, doesn't know where her mom is, has never known her dad, and hasn't really thought about any of it until a friend who's starring in a production of Annie asks her what it's like to be an orphan. Delsie's enthusiasm about the summer quickly turns to disappointment when her old friend Brandy begins hanging out with a mean girl named Tressa, who influences the way she acts. The things they used to do together are suddenly uncool to Brandy, as Tressa makes fun of Delsie's bare feet, her obsession with the weather, and anything else that makes Delsie unique. Luckily, the new boy in town, Ronan, shows that he's loyal, and is no stranger to heartache. The two of them team up to have adventures, learn about what makes locals on the Cape special, and learn what family really means.
Is it any good?
Emotionally rich and brimming with life lessons, this story paints a unique picture of lower middle class life in the resort destination of Cape Cod. The feelings explored in Shouting at the Rain feel very real -- like how it feels to suddenly realize that you don't know your mother and father, and that it matters. Like how much it hurts to be rejected by an old friend when her interests change. Or how dirty your house, your grandma's car, and your feet are in the eyes of someone more privileged than you. What it feels like to fight for what you think is right, how love wraps you up in an embrace, and how the right people matter.
This story combs through themes of abandonment and loyalty in a way that kids will appreciate. As in Fish in a Tree, author Lynda Mullaly Hunt explores a sensitive subject -- in this case, being abandoned by a parent -- and after expertly poking at the wound a little, makes it feel better with the help of some wise adults and friends who truly care.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about mean girls and changing friendships in Shouting at the Rain. What happens in real life when friends change? What other books or TV shows deal with this issue? Do you like how Delsie handles this situation?
Is Delsie an orphan if she's being raised by her grandmother? What makes a family? Can you think of movies or books that reflect what your family looks like?
What can a kid do if a parent is drinking too much or doing drugs? Who are Delsie's trusted adults? Who are yours?
- Author: Lynda Mullaly Hunt
- Genre: Coming of Age
- Topics: Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Middle School, Misfits and Underdogs, Ocean Creatures
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
- Publication date: May 7, 2019
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 18
- Number of pages: 288
- Available on: Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
Our editors recommend
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