Vlog Review: Right as Rain

Hit Play on the video above.

Premise: It’s been 278 days since Rain’s brother Guthrie died, and Rain and her parents are moving 288 miles to have a fresh start (even if her mom is the only one who wants one). What happened that night is a big who knows to everyone except for Rain, but that secret means Guthrie’s death is her fault. With her secret and very few other items packed, Rain moves to NYC to process through the loss of her brother and the degradation of her parents’ marriage while she tries to fit into a new environment where she’s off on the wrong foot. (Check out the motifs section, there’s a ton of issues brought up by this book — and all well done.)

Rating: 4/5
Target: 4-8

Title: The title’s meaning remains open to numerous interpretations — so it’s a great discussion point post-read. I’ll wait for you to tell me your interpretation before I divulge mine.

Main Character(s): Rain Andrews, 11 y/o (she/her)

Motifs (not exhaustive): grief/loss, depression, friendship, moving, change, divorce/separation, gardening, teamwork, community, homelessness, gentrification, otherness/belonging, poetry

Great for…* (readers): who have friends experiencing grief. As a mother of kids with nuclear family member loss, I want to give this book to all their friends so that they get an inside perspective of what it’s like. Also good for kids who feel alone, different, isolated, or are experiencing change.

Great for…* (teachers): This book is rife with figurative language and symbolism. It even weaves poetry in (as a school assignment), so it’s kind of asking for work on that front. Many allusions to The One and Only Ivan make for a great pairing if Ivan comes first.

Parental Warning(s): For children who have experienced death of a nuclear family member, this book could stir up difficult emotions.

Interact: Rain runs to wipe her thoughts away and empty her brain. What works for you?

Shop local bookstores.
Shop Amazon.
Add on Goodreads.

*The “Great for” category is not exhaustive and does not intend to neglect the multitude of readers/teachers who could learn from this book in any number of ways.


٭ = DNF, would not recommend
٭٭ = would not recommend
٭٭٭ = enjoyable, would recommend
٭٭٭٭ = very good, would recommend
٭٭٭٭٭ = amazing, would definitely recommend

Poetry: Faustus in his Study

I like art museums, so call me a nerd. You wouldn’t be the first.

It started in Boston, like several of my hobbies, as an assignment to visit the MFA. While the art students sketched in their journals, I wrote. I lament, in this shut-down world, the ability to go to an art museum, to be in the presence of an original, to stare and study and consider every movement in it. And, of course, the story of it.

I came across this poem, written many years ago while at an art museum viewing Rembrandt’s Faustus in His Study, in my journal. Read it. Then comment:
a) What I could improve/what you like
b) Where you most miss visiting (or maybe not most miss just miss — no judgments)

Faustus in His Study

Faustus, Faustus
Glowing grandly
Spreading soundly
Your own dark light
Watching, waiting,

Waxing impatient
By your soul’s own
Grand Delight.
Faustus, Faustus
Staring starkly
As the magic disk revolves
Never noting
Naught before thee

But your own design to grow.
Pride, Impatience
Desire for Greatness
You’ve wound yourself into
The disk that flows.
Spinning, it’s spun you
Woven, it’s won you
To its delights to keep you
Alone, you are
Alone, you aren’t.
You are man
Caught among men
Guided by the same sin.

Get the print by Rembrandt.
Read my favorite Faustus, Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe.