Rose Howard has Asperger’s syndrome, and an obsession with homonyms (even her name is a homonym). She gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Rain was a lost dog Rose’s father brought home. Rose and Rain are practically inseparable. And they are often home alone, as Rose’s father spends most evenings at a bar, and doesn’t have much patience for his special-needs daughter.
Just as a storm hits town, 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. Rose will find Rain, but so will Rain’s original owners.
I was given this book in exchange for my honest review.
I think any book that brings awareness to a condition or situation that is not well known or is currently becoming known in society today deserves many kudos.
As a parent of a special needs child (not autism), I am hopeful when seeing books about children like Rose. Such children have had a horrific past relationship with society that included asylums and sanitarium/institution placements because they didn’t ‘fit’ well into society’s depiction of ‘normal.’
So when an author attempts to bring awareness to conditions, relationships with, and what they think is going on inside the heads of such children/adults, I am both impressed and cringing. It’s very difficult for anyone who doesn’t live the situation to fully understand what anyone is thinking or how they would respond to events concerning special individuals. The whys and how comes are harder to answer.
With that said, this middle grade novel possesses a rather simple style of writing that might appeal easily to a younger crowd and even to curious adults. It’s told from Rose’s point of view and this is where I find it hard to accept. I think it would have been better served if written in 3rd person even though the author did do a good job at trying to give Rose an authentic voice. But unless the author has Rose’s condition, I can’t help but wonder at the accuracy of Rose in both her development and actions.
Regardless, the attempt was done with good intentions and the conflict, pace and plot well executed.
Would I recommend this book to others? Yes. If not for the writing style, then at least to give Rose a chance and see where you heart goes with it.
I gave this book: