By Ann M. Martin
New York: Feiwel and Friends, 2014.
Pages 226 Grades 5 and Up
Family tragedy, a hurricane and a dog make this a very moving and heartwarming story of a girl with Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s is a high functioning level of Autism, which although Rose looks normal she has some habits and rituals that make her different from her classmates. She loves to keep a list of homonyms (words that sound the same but are spelled differently), she is a rule keeper and loves prime numbers. In fact if she gets stressed she often can be heard counting by prime numbers.
Rose is in Mrs. Kushel’s 5th grade classroom, where she has an aide with her every day. Mrs. Leibler helps Rose to understand her world and helps her to respond appropriately in class.
Rose tells the story of how she knows she is different but wants badly to be accepted by her classmates, and her dad. Dad is trying to raise her on his own since Rose’s mom left; but overcoming his own childhood abuse and being placed in many foster homes he often finds he is not equipped to handle Rose. Rose finds solace in her dog Rain (Reign) and in her dad’s brother, Uncle Weldon.
When Hurricane Susan stirs up violent storms, Rose’s dad lets Rain outside by accident and she runs off. Rose cannot understand how this could happen, she blames her dad, meanwhile dad loses his job and everyone is at their breaking point.
This story will make you laugh, cry and having you cheer for a girl whose name is a homonym, Rose.