Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt – Book Review
- Title: Shouting at the Rain
- Author: Linda Mullaly Hunt
- Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
- Release Date: May 7, 2019
RATING: 3 STARS
Summer has come to Cape Cod and Delsie is looking forward to another sun-soaked, fun-filled season with her friend, Brandy. Although Delsie has not changed much from the past year, Brandy has. Now Delsie must deal with the storm this conflict stirs up in her as well as the other clashes it precipitates and feelings it surfaces. Delsie struggles to cope with her altered friendships and her changing perspective about what it means to have family, but she also finds everything she is looking for in unlikely places under unlikely circumstances.
Shouting at the Rain provides a deeply personal look at tough situations: a crumbling friendship, family loss and abandonment, and dealing with a mean-spirited individual. Author Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s writing beautifully captures Delsie’s emotions and paints an intimate picture of her evolving perspective. Yet oftentimes, Delsie’s perspective and shifting views are undermined by plot events that feel forced and at times occur in an almost too perfect sequence. The events also overshadow Delsie’s love for weather. This love is nicely weaved throughout the beginning of the novel but gets lost and all but disappears by the end. The fracture underscores the unfortunate way in which the natural flow in the narrative is interrupted for the sake of tidy endings.
In the end, middle schoolers would certainly enjoy reading about Delsie, her struggles, and her transformation. However, the author does most of the intellectual work for the reader, limiting the extensive classroom application the book’s potential possesses.
- Cross-curricular Study – Teach the novel in conjunction with a nonfiction study of weather.
- Book Club or Book Exchange – Share the novel with students that enjoy reading about themes of loss, friendship, and family.
Nonfiction Connections: The list below outlines topics that will enrich your students’ understanding of the novel.
- Cape Cod History
Book Companions: The following are great books to pair with Shouting at the Rain. In parenthesis are the specific aspects students could explore when synthesizing across the texts.
- The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart (Character Connections, Themes)
- Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo (Character Connections, Themes)
- Where the Watermelons Grow by Cindy Baldwin (Character Connections, Themes)