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It's intended for children from 9 to 12, but any adult interested art will enjoy spending time with this book.
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This book is about how James, a 17-year-old high-school student living in the 1990's Southwest, tries to learn more about the Anasazi tribe, which dissappeared centuries ago. While trying to learn more, James is sucked back in time to the 13th century Southwest. Spring Rain, an Anasazi girl living there, prays for rain every morning to end the long drought. She discovers James and they create a great friendship, and fall in love. J. A. James wants the reader to know that Spring Rain believes James has brought the rain because it started to rain when James arrived. Some of the tribespeople think he's a god, but others are suspicious because James can't even set a trap or shoot an arrow. The author brings the past and present together in reality by having the two conceive a child together.
J. A. James is successful in shifting between the current and acient time periods. She gets right to the point and doesn't wander off like some authors. The knows exactly what's going on in the book because she puts a lot of attention to detail. J. A. James has a way of mixing fantasy with reality so that the story makes sense. A boy going back in time 700 years to help the Anasazi survive is believable in SING FOR A GENTLE RAIN.
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shine amidst the humdrum predictability of the small town into which she was born and raised. Was she unconciously programmed to create the train wreck we could see coming for many chapters? Her life was not about the intellect or reason. She was not remotely sensible. She drove me crazy! My inner mantra as I read was "Don't do it! Don't do it!" It became hard to turn the page. But that was the fun of it, watching my own reaction to this woman who catches sexual fire and refuses to douse the flames. Then comes the power of transformation that probably required the train wreck to occur. I wonder if we can hope for a sequel with the new awakened Lucy. We get only a taste of her and I suspect those passions will continue to express themselves in new hopefully less destructive ways, but I'd like to know.
Even as some very predictable plot points come along, when the reader knows exactly what's going to happen and knows it will happen because of the character's flaws, we still hold our breath and hope it somehow will come out all right.
There's a lot of small town stuff that rings true in this amazing novel, and there's a great twist at the end that the reader WILL NOT see coming. There's also a sort of timelessness. Clements has carefully not cemented the story into a specific time or decade, so we can all feel as if it's part of our own life.
In the end, it's not about whether Lucy can get together with Billy Lee. It's about whether she will find out who SHE is. That journey turns out to be incredibly entertaining. This is a perfect summer book. A lot of fun and a great read.
As a result, we seem to enjoy loving or hating the vain, self-absorbed Lucy. Our strong reactions indicate that the main character has enough depth to actively engage the reader. By the end of the book, defenders of Lucy Fooshee are pleased to discover there are hints of her maturity on the horizon. Who knows? Perhaps someday Fooshee fans will find out if there's life for Lucy AFTER Palmyra.