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Rain is Not My Indian Name Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Unabridged

4.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Listening Library; Unabridged edition (July 31 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807204293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807204290
  • Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 11.3 x 2.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 95 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,020,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Multiple plot lines and nonlinear storytelling may make it difficult to enter Smith's (Jingle Dancer) complex novel, but the warmth and texture of the writing eventually serve as ample reward for readers. The sensitive yet witty narrator, 14-year-old Cassidy Rain Berghoff, grows up in a small Kansas town as one of the few people with some Native American heritage. That experience alone might challenge Rain, but Smith creates a welter of conflicts. Rain's mother is dead (she was struck by lightning), and as the novel opens, her best friend is killed in a car accident just after he and Rain realize their friendship has grown into romance. Six months later, her older brother urges her to go to her great-aunt's Indian Camp. At first she shrugs it off, but later volunteers to photograph the camp for the town paper and begins to share her Aunt Georgia's commitment to it. When public funding for the camp becomes a contested issue in the city council, Rain decides to enroll. Some of Smith's devices such as opening each chapter with a snippet from Rain's journal add depth and clarify Rain's relationships for readers, although other elements (the detailing of song lyrics playing in the background, for instance) seem stilted. Even so, readers will feel the affection of Rain's loose-knit family and admire the way that they, like the author with the audience, allow Rain to draw her own conclusions about who she is and what her heritage means to her. Ages 10-14.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-10-Cassidy Rain Berghoff has sustained some powerful losses in her young life. The tragic accidents that claimed the lives of her mother and, more recently, her best friend, Galen, have made this middle schooler introspective, but she's still got her sense of humor. While her Kansas community discusses the funding for her aunt's Indian Camp, and her older brother faces marriage and parenthood, Rain is trying to sort out who she is in this novel by Cynthia Leitich Smith (HarperCollins, 2001). The author brings many of her own life experiences to this multifaceted, coming-of-age novel. Jenna Lamia's nuanced narration balances the story's comic and serious elements. The sound quality is good, and there is helpful information on the cassettes and case. Though this story may be a bit top heavy on problems, there are enough light-hearted moments to keep readers from getting bogged down. It will fit well in libraries serving multicultural, middle school audiences.

Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Steven R. McEvoy HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on Dec 18 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With the reading of this book I have now read all of Cynthia Leitich Smith's books in the last few months. All eight of the books are great in different ways, but this one has a depth that even the most casual of readers will find himself touched by the emotions portrayed in the story. Cassidy Rain Berghoff is learning to deal with loss - first the loss of her mother, and now the loss of her best friend. She barely leaves her home. But six months after the death of her best friend, things start to change. First her aunt Georgina is running an Indian Camp, and both her aunt and older brother want her to attend. But that is too much of a commitment for Rain. But she does take the job of capturing the camp on film for the local newspaper.

The story deals with such subjects as grief, death, and recovery; and it is a coming of age story through the process of loss. Rain must learn to find her voice again, either through her pictures or through the journal her aunt gave her and the campers to chronicle their experiences at camp. It is an amazing story and one I know I will read again and again, for myself and to my daughters.
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Format: Hardcover
Cynthia Leitich Smith's Rain is Not My Indian Name is a refreshing, respectful examination of the issues that contemporary teens face. Smith gives such authentic voice to the heroine, Rain, that the character becomes real to this reader. The book courageously takes on real and complex issues that many teenagers face today, including death and single-parent households. Although there is enough action within it's pages to keep any teen interested, this is truly a book about individual characters. Smith captures the essence of her main character, Rain, by giving the reader a glimpse into her American Indian heritage. What is most impressive about Rain's character development is her proud heritage comes through, but does not solely define her. Smith has accomplished what few writers have. She develops her heroine's culture but not at the expense of her universal appeal to all teens, regardless of ethnicity. Rain illustrates the differences that make us special but also the similarities that unite us. I highly recommend this book for teens and parents alike for a thoughtful view of young middle-America. My only regret is that this type of book was not being written when I came of age.
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By A Customer on April 15 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read this book almost a year ago, but it still lingers with me. I think the main reason is Cassidy Rain Berghoff, the fourteen-year-old title character. After losing her best friend, Galen, in a tragic way, Cassidy shuts out the world. Months pass before she grows to realize that she has to get in touch with the world again, even if it's through a job. I was really impressed by Cassidy's bravery and strength. The author did a great job making this character REAL. By the end of the book, I felt like I knew Cassidy. The author made me care about her - about what would happen to her.
The book doesn't make it easy for Cassidy to work things out. For example, while working as a photographer in an Indian camp run by her Aunt Georgia, Cassidy finds herself torn between getting involved in an emotional issue and staying professional and objective. Kids are faced with hard decisions all the time, so I found it very easy to relate to Cassidy and what she goes through.
I recommend RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME to anyone who loves a good story and good characters. This book has both!
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Format: Hardcover
Written with an authentic Native literary structure, Smith's debut novel is perhaps most notable because ethnic identity is integrated rather than the sole focus of the book. Instead, her protagonist, Rain Berghoff, is a young mixed blood teen struggling to heal after the death of her best friend by reconnecting to her intertribal and German American small-town community. That challenge to heal is her primary conflict. The two subplots are about financing for a local summer camp for Indian youth, based on real-life camps of the same kind, using the same approach, and the adjustment to her older brother's new baby, nodding to the continuity of life and love.
Yet Rain's story is told with wit and warmth, deserving particular praise for its down-home Indian humor and realistically contemporary teen voice and vision. At its heart, this is a story about the importance of family and community, how they help us heal and become more of the best of who we are.
For this novel, Smith was named a 2001 Writer of the Year by Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers and a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award. She'd also been a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award for her previous title, Jingle Dancer. This title is used in middle school classrooms and college courses with a multicultural focus. A break-through book from a young Native American author staying true to her culture and her readers. Don't miss this one
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Format: Hardcover
I am a freelance quiz writer, and I picked up this book for one of my assignments. The cover blurb looked very interesting, and I began reading it with eager anticipation. Two hours later I put the book down, disappointed.
Rain's story has lots of potential, and takes place in an interesting family setting. Rain's mother has been dead for several years. Rain and her brother & his girlfriend live with their grandfather, who is vacationing in Las Vegas during the book. Their father is posted on Guam.
The book begins on the night her best friend Galen is killed, and then jumps ahead six months to his birthday (July 4) for the action. Rain's Aunt Georgia wants to run an Indian Camp, and Rain doesn't want to attend. Her brother's girlfriend asks her to photograph the event for a story Flash, an intern, is writing about the camp.
Aunt Georgia's concept of Indian Camp is very vague; even when Rain and Flash observe the camp in an attempt to write a feature story, Indian Camp never becomes anything more than nebulous. Georgia wants the campers to build a pasta bridge, write, design a webpage, and take a long fieldtrip to Minnesota (from Kansas) to watch an Indian rice harvest. Aunt Georgia feels these are important activities, but doesn't ever bother to explain why. Even Rain and Flash's conversations about the activities shed little or no light on the importance.
Galen's mother--a dislikeable character in all but one incident--is trying to stop funding of Indian Camp. For Rain, the Indian Camp conflict and her difficulty in dealing with Galen's death, combine to create problems between her and Galen's mother. Add to that rumours that are certainly intended to be scandalous (but which fall far short) and the situation becomes a stress point for Rain.
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