by Ann M. Martin
Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She’s thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign and Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose’s obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different—not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father. When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search.
Discussion questions from SOMN
- Everyone is different; every person has particular habits and interests. Some people have differences that others see as “disabilities.” What makes Rose different? Are her outbursts in class something she does on purpose?
- If Rose was a student in your class, how would you react? What are some things Rose’s teacher and classmates could do to help?
- Rose has a diagnosis of autism. How does this disorder affect the way she thinks and acts and her relationships with other people?
- How does Rose’s relationship with her classmates change throughout the story? What causes this change?
Classroom activities from SOMN
- Write another chapter for the book. What would Rose be doing? What lies ahead for Rose? Do you think she will ever see Rain again?
- Invite someone with Autism to speak to your class on their experiences.
- Who in your class has a “prime number name?” Use Rose’s strategy to find out!