cover image Shouting at the Rain

Shouting at the Rain

Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Penguin/Paulsen, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-399-17515-2

Endearingly blunt, stubborn Delsie lives year-round on Cape Cod, where she watches game shows with her Grammy and eagerly consults her weather station. This summer, though, the storm that’s brewing has nothing to do with the weather. Her friend Brandy has begun wearing makeup and made a new friend who doesn’t hide her disdain for Delsie. In addition, everything about the island begins to remind her of the mother who abandoned her when she was little. Delsie finds strength and solace in her neighbors’ kindness and a surprising connection with a new kid, Ronan, who is struggling with his own loss. In kid-friendly prose, Hunt (Fish in a Tree) balances Delsie’s unfettered sense of adventure with her tweenlike insecurities. Socioeconomic disparity between Delsie and her wealthier friends is handled in a matter-of-fact way—it’s apparent, but the author doesn’t linger on it. The book’s coming-of-age lessons about acceptance and friendship, though relevant, can feel didactic; Delsie makes some rather sudden revelations about what’s really important in life. Still, her sweet desire for a family and her unexpected realization that she’s had one all along make this story well worth reading. Ages 10–up. [em](May) [/em]