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Book review: Right as Rain — by Lindsey Stoddard

(HarperCollins)
Raised-in-Vermont author Lindsey Stoddard may have just written her breakthrough novel, the one that gets critics and fans alike very excited. In this realistically rendered novel, aimed at ages 8 to 12, a family is in crisis. The reader knows there was a tragic accident and they know Rain, the sixth-grade heroine of the title, has a crushing secret regarding the night of the accident, and they know Rain’s brother Guthrie is no longer with them. The “bustling” mom decides a change of scenery is in order; she sells the house, furniture and all; then she moves them, including the dad who is hiding behind closed doors, all the way from from Vermont to New York City, where they all must try to adjust. Most of the book deals with Rain learning to adjust, and how she navigates a new school, a new culture, new friends who are coping with their own issues, comprises the majority of this warm-hearted and ultimately hopeful novel. While exploring the themes of family, grief, emotions and friendship, Stoddard does an excellent job of using simple images to convey great meaning as well as using consistent dialogue and mannerisms to help create believable and realistic people that are genuinely cared about by the reader.
Mark your calendars, Lindsey Stoddard will read from and discuss “Right as Rain” at the Vermont Book Shop, Tuesday, May 7.
— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury
10 more memorable middle grade books
New Kid, by Jerry Craft
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, by Karina Yan Glaser
Hello, Universe, by Erin Entrada Kelly
All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, by Leslie Connor
Restart, by Gordon Korman
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, by Dusti Bowling
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, by Dan Gemeinhart
The Thing About Jellyfish, by Ali Benjamin
Wishtree, by Katherine Applegate
Lemons, by Melissa Savage

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