Excerpt from Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Rain Reign

by Ann M. Martin

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin X
Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
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  • Published:
    Oct 2014, 240 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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1

Who I Am—A Girl Named Rose (Rows)

I am Rose Howard and my first name has a homonym. To be accurate, it has a homophone, which is a word that's pronounced the same as another word but spelled differently. My homophone name is Rows.

Most people say homonym when they mean homophone. My teacher, Mrs. Kushel, says this is a common mistake.

"What's the difference between making a mistake and breaking a rule?" I want to know.

"Making a mistake is accidental. Breaking a rule is deliberate."

"But if—" I start to say.

Mrs. Kushel rushes on. "It's all right to say 'homonym' when we mean 'homophone.' That's called a colloquialism."

"'Breaking' has a homonym," I tell her. "'Braking.'"

I like homonyms a lot. And I like words. Rules and numbers too. Here is the order in which I like these things:

1. Words (especially homonyms)

2. Rules

3. Numbers (especially prime numbers)

I'm going to tell you a story. It's a true story, which makes it a piece of nonfiction.

This is how you tell a story: First you introduce the main character. I'm writing this story about me, so I am the main character.

My first name has a homonym, and I gave my dog a homonym name too. Her name is Rain, which is special because it has two homonyms—rein and reign. I will write more about Rain in Chapter Two. Chapter Two will be called "My Dog, Rain (Reign, Rein)."

Something important about the word write is that it has three homonyms—right, rite, and wright. That's the only group of four homonyms I've thought of. If I ever think of another four-homonym group, it will be a red-letter day.

I live with my father, Wesley Howard, and neither of his names has a homonym.

From our porch you can see our front yard and our driveway and our road, which is called Hud Road. Road has two homonyms—rowed and rode. On the other side (sighed) of the road is a little forest, and through the trees you can see the New York Thruway. The word see has a homonym—sea. But even better, sees has two homonyms—seas and seize.

I'm in fifth grade at Hatford Elementary. There's only one elementary school in Hatford, New York, and only one fifth-grade classroom in the school, and I'm in it. Most of my classmates are ten years old or about to turn eleven. I'm almost twelve because no one is sure what to do with me in school. I've stayed back for two semesters, which is a total of one year. (1/2 + 1/2 = 1.)

Some of the things I get teased about are following the rules and always talking about homonyms. Mrs. Leibler is my aide and she sits with me in Mrs. Kushel's room. She sits in an adult-size chair next to my fifth-grade-size chair and rests her hand on my arm when I blurt something out in the middle of math. Or, if I whap myself in the head and start to cry, she'll say, "Rose, do you need to step into the hall for a moment?"

Mrs. Leibler tells me that there are things worth talking about besides homonyms and rules and prime numbers. She encourages me to think up conversation starters. Some conversation starters about me that do not have anything to do with homonyms or rules or prime numbers are:

I live in a house that faces northeast. (After I say that, I ask the person I'm trying to have a conversation with, "And which direction does your house face?")

Down the road, 0.7 miles from my house is the J & R Garage, where my father sometimes works as a mechanic, and 0.1 miles farther along is a bar called The Luck of the Irish, where my father goes after work. There is nothing between my house and the J & R Garage except trees and the road. (Tell me some things about your neighborhood.)

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Excerpted from Rain Reign by Ann M Martin. Copyright © 2014 by Ann M Martin. Excerpted by permission of Feiwel & Friends. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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