Monday, August 29, 2016

MMGM: Rainy




I picked up this book because I’ve been doing some research on ADHD for my work-in-progress. While I like to read memoirs to get an insider’s view, sometimes it’s also effective to read fiction to see how other authors have tackled the same issues. This summer I read three novels with protagonists with ADHD, but RAINY by far was my favorite.

Here’s the synopsis:

A vivid portrait of a girl with a hyperactive mind

Rainy isn't thrilled about going to camp, away from her family and her beloved dog, Max. Without her family there to help, how will she stay focused when her thoughts start bouncing around her brain like ping-pong balls?

Once Rainy finds friends who can handle her extreme energy, she decides that camp is great. She's even gotten good at keeping track of her things. But when bad news from home floods her head with too many thoughts, she forgets the rules and sets off on a dangerous journey.
With her signature mix of humor and heart, Sis Deans explores the hectic world of a girl learning to live with ADHD.

What I liked about Rainy:


1.  A character with a lot of heart: It was hard not to fall in love with Rainy, who gets lost when she finds something interesting and is always misinterpreting what adults and other kids are saying to her. For true-to-life kidlike thinking and behavior, this book gets a 10+.

2.  An authentic ADHD character: Rainy felt like the friends, students, and others I know who struggle with ADHD. 

3.  A book without the moral, “everything will be okay if you just take your meds.” I think one of the reasons I was dissatisfied with some of the other books is that the conflict or main problem was solved once the main character  with ADHD got the right dosage. While drugs do help some children, I liked that the author did not use this as a plot device. Rainy's parents do not want her on drugs, so she must learn coping techniques on her own--often with humorous results.

4.  A camp setting: Need I say more? I’ve read a few novels set at camp this summer—and there’s something about the nostalgia for my own camp days that made this such an enjoyable read.

5.  Interesting format: I loved how Deans interspersed Rainy’s “unedited” letters home throughout the text. This gave us another peak into Rainy’s mind.

Parental/teacher warning: My only caveat about this is book is that there is some language, which I found a bit out of place for a ten-year-old girl.

As I was reading this and reflecting on some of the other novels I’ve read this summer about kids and teens with disabilities, I’ve noticed a not-very-surprising trend: people who have the disability in question tend to write more authentic books. In her author’s note, Deans talks about how she grew up in the 60s when Ritalin was not used, so the book in many ways reflects her own experience. 

What are your favorite books about kids (or adults) with disabilities?

(This post contains an Amazon affiliate link, only because it's easier for me to post book covers that way. Thank you for your support!)

To check out more Marvelous Middle Grade suggestions, check out Shannon Messenger's blog. 









15 comments:

  1. I really like Baskin's Anything But Typical, and of course Sonnenblicks Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie. (Sort of a disability one.) Have you thought about the upcoming Cybils season? Whether you are thinking about applying to be a judge or making your list of books to nominate, you should hop over to the site and check it out! http://www.cybils.com/2016/08/call-for-judges-we-need-you.html

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  2. I really like Baskin's Anything But Typical, and of course Sonnenblicks Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie. (Sort of a disability one.) Have you thought about the upcoming Cybils season? Whether you are thinking about applying to be a judge or making your list of books to nominate, you should hop over to the site and check it out! http://www.cybils.com/2016/08/call-for-judges-we-need-you.html

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    1. Thanks, Karen. I'll definitely check those out. Anything But Typical especially sounds like one I'd like. And I do plan on at least nominating for Cybils--thanks for the reminder!

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  3. Sounds like a great story and I like that it doesn't just end telling kids to take their meds too.

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    1. Exactly! Thanks for stopping by, Natalie!

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  4. I enjoy these types of kids with boundless energy. I've added this one to my reading list. I recently enjoyed A BLIND GUIDE TO STINKVILLE by Beth Vrabel.

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    1. That's for the rec, Greg! That sounds like a the kind of book I'm looking for.

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  5. I have a soft spot for the camp setting, too, and it sounds like Rainy's perspective and unique challenges are the perfect compliment! Thanks for the recommendation! :D

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  6. That is good that drugs weren't the answer. I think too many kids take them these days.

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    1. I agree--and it seems like sort of a cop out for the author if that's the solution.

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  7. My kind of story. Am always on the outlook for good characters with different abilities. Loved the Joey Pigza series. Great review!

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    1. If you liked Joey, I think you'll like Rainy. She's sort of a female version. :)

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  8. This sounds like a story I will enjoy! Thanks for featuring it!

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  9. I really liked Counting by 7s. This one sounds interesting. I will check it out. Thanks for the post.

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