Rain Remembers

HarperCollins. Oct. 2023. 272p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063159778.
Gr 5 Up–In this sequel to Rain Rising, teenager Rain Washington’s journey continues as she navigates change while learning the importance of self-care and self-love. Rain is starting her first year of high school and feels struck by all the differences. Her older brother Xander is away at his first year of college and has been difficult to reach, the school psychologist is hard to open up to, and being a freshman in a school crowded with new people feels daunting. When she attracts the attention of an older boy, Rain experiences the thrill of being seen, but feels unable to talk about him with the people closest to her. With everything she is going through, Rain begins to isolate and her self-disparaging thoughts return; without the supports she had in middle school, coping feels impossible. While Rain may feel alone, her circle of family and friends help her remember who she is. As Rain pulls from her strengths and past experiences, she finds ways to continue her path toward healing and growth, inspiring those around her to do the same. Written in verse, Comrie’s writing expresses the tenderness of Rain’s interior world, allowing her experiences to resonate with readers and illuminate the power we each hold in making changes in our lives and communities. Comrie weaves in personal and systemic issues facing young people like mental health challenges, body image, divorce, the legal system, and family separation while expertly shining light on the ways that people of all ages can strive toward “progress, not perfection.”
VERDICT Speaking directly on social issues that affect youth through her characters, Comrie shares different pathways toward healing and empowerment. This title and its predecessor are an important pair of books for any middle grade library.

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