Thursday, February 05, 2009

Rainy, by Sis Deans

Rainy has troubles staying focused on one thing for any length of time and she drives her teachers (and the other kids) nutty with her outbursts and seemingly random behavior. But life with ADHD is not easy. It will be particularly challenging this summer as her parents are sending her to overnight camp for four weeks in Maine. There she must learn to adapt to life with lots of new kids but so many familiar problems.

I'll have to come clean out say that I've never been terribly patient or sympathetic to people who suffer from ADHD (it pushes all sorts of personal buttons for me on so many levels), so it's also a bit of a challenge to read a (fictional) story about what it is like. I kept coming back to the thought of "how is this girl going to survive in the real world when she grows up?"

Putting that bias aside though, the book itself is fascinating. Deans has done a fantastic job of crafting a sympathetic portrait of what having ADHD could be like. Rainy is no saint and Deans doesn't hesitate to show both strengths and weaknesses. For a reader who wants to understand how it works, this is a good primer. The story itself is fairly basic but full of enough suspense and character development to keep middle readers interested. As much as Rainy would drive me completely up the wall in person, I could appreciate her struggles. That makes this a good story.

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