Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan

apple and rainBloomsbury Children’s Books, 2015

Even though Nan tries to make the day special, Apple hates Christmas. No matter how hard Nan tries, for Apple, Christmas Day is overshadowed by the memory of her mum storming out of the house. That was eleven years ago, and she never came back. Nan doesn’t want to hear Apple’s thoughts on the matter, so Apple’s left to pine for her mother alone. When Apple’s mum does come back, Apple takes her chance to escape from her Nan’s serious ways and overprotection, but it’s nothing like the life she fantasized about. Her new life with Mum also includes Rain, a little sister Apple never even knew about but now is expected to care for. How will she navigate a life in which all the rules and expectations have changed?

This is a beautiful book. As Apple deals with family drama, school drama, and boy drama, she uses poetry to work out her feelings. The special gray exercise book that her English teacher gave her becomes her outlet and sounding board. In the end Apple learns a lot about poetry and, in the words of her English teacher, “poetry’s ability—and responsibility—to say what happens.”

This is a book to cherish and to read again. As much as I love books, I’m jealous of the small amount of shelf space I have in my house. But Apple and Rain is one to own, to look at fondly, to read again and to loan to a friend. Buy this book. You won’t regret it.

I read this book as an electronic ARC courtesy of Net Galley and Bloomsbury Children’s Books.

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