Rain Reign

4 CDs. 4 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2014. $54.97. ISBN 9781491530504.
RedReviewStarGr 4–6—Because she has Asperger's syndrome, Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms, rules, and order. She has a hard time containing her emotions and a teacher's aid must sit with her during class. Dealing with her condition is difficult for Rose's father, who is raising her alone, but thanks to her dog, Rain, a caring uncle, and a new friend, Rose may just find the strength to be her very best self. Laura Hamilton takes on the challenging role of Rose without missing a beat. She puts just the right pauses in her speech as she struggles to make herself understood and takes on a slightly robotic tone each time Rose comes across a homonym and must carefully repeat each of the words. Her matter-of-fact yet youthful tone is perfect, and her use of pitch emphasizes each time Rose becomes upset or frustrated. Hamilton also is able to expertly use a lower range for Rose's emotionally distant father and her uncle.
VERDICT This is an ideal family listen about the power of family and the bond between a girl and her dog.

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