Lindsey Stoddard’s RIGHT AS RAIN is a Beautiful New Novel for Tweens that I Can’t Wait to Read With my Fourth and Fifth Grade Book Club!
Shame and guilt. They are hard enough for an adult to manage, much less a child. Especially less so for a tween who, on top of trying to understand such overwhelming emotions, is also trying to navigate the challenges of growing up, a new move, and the possible separation of her parents.
One of those things alone is enough to do anyone in. But when you are battling all at once, it can wreak havoc on your life.
These are tough topics to write about, too. But when you are in the hands of a gifted storyteller, you wake, breathe, dream and think about the characters you are following as if they are sitting right beside you. And so it is with RIGHT AS RAIN, the beautiful sophomore novel by Lindsey Stoddard, an author who is undoubtedly embarking on an exceptional career.
RIGHT AS RAIN is a Stunning Novel for Tweens that Explores Grief, Guilt and Loss
RIGHT AS RAIN is the story of a middle schooler named Rain who is reeling since the loss of her older brother, Guthrie.
Rain knows that parents don’t always stay together following the death of a child, and hers have certainly been struggling. But Rain has high hopes that when her family decides to move from a small town in Vermont to Washington Heights in New York City, the fresh start will be good for all of them.
Unfortunately, Rain’s move isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, as her dad retreats to his bedroom, Rain sticks out like a sore thumb in her new school, and her mom can’t crack the “all is perfect” attitude.
Rain thus turns to running, her outlet, where she meets a new friend. But can she tell Frankie the guilty secret she’s been harboring about the night of Guthrie’s death? Is there anything that will mend Rain’s family as the one year anniversary of her brother’s death approaches?
Novels for Tweens that Explore Tough Topics in Safe Spaces are Necessary and Important for our Children
Guilt can be debilitating under any circumstance. But under all of these, even more so. Both Rain’s emotions and the secret she harbors threaten to pull her under, and with her parent’s conflicts at home, Rain tries hard to bury her feelings. Yet, “when you bury something deep, it grows up twice as tall,” and as Rain forces herself to put one foot in front of the other, she knows she can’t keep hiding.
I love the manner in which RIGHT AS RAIN explores two healthy outlets that help Rain in her healing process - running, for one, as well as the friendships she begins to create in New York. As her new friends share their own stories and experiences with Rain, Rain begins to understand that everyone feels pain, and only when she lets people in can she let her feelings out.
Honest, poignant and gripping, RIGHT AS RAIN is a necessary addition to every bookshelf, as readers facing any kind of loss will find themselves and their stories illuminated in Rain, her family and her friends. This novel provides a safe space for kids to delve into such daunting feelings, allowing children to explore, among other things, healthy ways to cope and how they may begin to move forward after their own heartbreaks.
Novels about loss are never “easy” to read, but when in the hands of a remarkable writer, these books can be both healing and enlightening. Stoddard’s second novel will be a gift to so many children who see Rain as a mirror for their own losses and look to her resilience as a guide for moving forward. Two trunks up for this beauty!
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Want the book? Get it here! RIGHT AS RAIN, by Lindsey Stoddard. HEE received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher, but all opinions expressed herein are entirely our own!