Review Detail

Kids Fiction 543
Moving from the country to the city
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
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Rain's family has experienced a tragedy-- her older brother was killed in a car accident. The mother thinks that the answer to their protracted grief is moving from a farm in Vermont to New York City, where she has taken a job in a big hospital. Rain's stay-at-home father seems to be a motivating factor behind the move, because he has been having trouble even getting out of bed in the morning. Moving to the city doesn't seem like the best idea for him, since his primary activity in Vermont was gardening. Rain's not happy having to transition to a new school and also feels that her brother's death is her fault, but she manages to make friends, keep up with her running, and complete the volunteer hours her new school requires. She loves working at Ms. Dacie's, where children and families can stop by to get help with all manner of matters, and work in the garden as well. However, funding has been pulled, and Ms. Dacie may need to close. Rain tries to get her father involved in an effort to get him to be functional once again, and also tries to get her mother to realize that she and her father are in pain and need to process it differently than she does.
Good Points
The descriptions of both Rain's home in Vermont and and in New York are very vivid. Even though the move is a generally unwanted one, both seem full of opportunities and their own forms of excitement. It would have been nice to have a little more information about Rain's mother's working situation in both settings, but the new home does seem like an excellent place for both Rain and her father to be.

Rain's new school mates are also very interesting. She is realistically portrayed as missing her best friend Izzy in Vermont, but she manages to befriend the prickly Frankie (whose best friend had lived in Rain's apartment) and shy Amelia. Her teacher, Mrs. Baldwin, is very supportive, giving her books to read and encouraging her writing. Ms. Dacie's is a bustling and vibrant environment filled with all manner of understanding, supportive people.

Readers who enjoyed Benjamin's The Thing about Jellyfish, Kelly's You Go First or Haydu's The Someday Suitcase will find this a sad but somewhat hopeful journey through grief.
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