Rain Rising

HarperCollins. Sept. 2022. 336p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780063159730.
Gr 3-7–Art truly has the power to save lives. Whether it is through poetry, writing, or step dancing, art channels the power of communication and healing to those who create and share it. In this heartfelt verse debut, Comrie relays the tale of young Black girl Rain, who is experiencing a low point in her life and trying to heal. Rain suffers from debilitating negative self-talk and low self-esteem, which hampers her growth and friendships. When her big brother Xander is brutally physically assaulted after a college visit, the entire family reels in the aftermath. Comrie seamlessly tackles many tough topics, such as self-harm, absentee fathers, mental health, and childhood trauma. This title could be used in social work settings about the importance of honest dialogue and normalizing therapy. Rain Rising is a hopeful text replaying powerful statements such as the need for better access for mental health and working toward “progress not perfect.”
VERDICT A coming-of-age middle school friendship drama disperses racist violence with justice served. Comrie provides another healthy outlet for youth to normalize exchanges about mental wellness.

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