"Tender, funny, and full of sharp wordplay, Smith's first novel deals with a whole host of interconnecting issues, but the center is Rain herself. What's amazing here is Rain's insights into her own pain, and how cleanly she uses language to contain it."
"There is a surprising amount of humor in this tender novel. It is one of the best portrayals around of kids whose heritage is mixed but still very important in their lives. It's Rain's story and she cannot be reduced to simple labels. A wonderful novel of a present-day teen and her 'patch-work tribe.'"
—School LIbrary Journal
“…a heartbreaking, real, thought-provoking book that will leave readers feeling empowered to embrace who they are."
". . . powerful and moving first novel..."
—Diana Tixier Herald, Genrefluent
"Cynthia Leitich Smith's newest novel, RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME, is a powerful novel of two friends and the residual effects of a night of impulsive behavior. Smith's writing is inspired. Rain's heritage, sense of loyalty, her faith in herself and her abilities, and even the memories of her friendship are tested in this compelling story of a teenager who must face the realities of her life. A compelling read sure to be a popular choice among intermediate and young adult readers."
—Sharron L. McElmeel,
author of 100 MOST POPULAR CHILDREN'S AUTHORS (Libraries Unlimited).
For more information or information about other books/articles,
see http://www.mcelmeel.com/; review reproduced in entirety with permission.
"Not since BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA have I read a book for young people which dealt with death in such a gentle but firm tone. While I understand that grief councilors have become part and parcel of our 'look outside oneself for answers' society, I cannot help but think that we are doing young people a disservice when we tell them the answers to life's problems lie outside their own hearts and souls. In RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME, the young protagonist looks deep within herself for the answers to the question all of us, young people as well as adults, are forced to face: how and why does life go on when our turn comes to dance with death?"
—Molly Levite Griffis of Apache News
"RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN is entertaining and provocative while addressing death and multicultural issues—Cynthia Leitich Smith effectively weaves the multicultural aspect gently through the story. I never felt bashed over the head." As a Japanese-American, I identified with Rain and her ambiguous feelings towards her heritage." Strong characters, evocative small-town setting, wonderful story, and a touch of humor make RAIN a must read."
"I took it along to read on the plane and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I love...the title...the cover...that first chapter...the interesting and complex cultural details...the last line. Wonderful stuff there!"
—Children's Author Jane Kurtz
"This is a young adult novel with heart. The characters are real. Smith deftly tackles such dominant society icons and artifacts as football mascots, fake dreamcatchers, Elvis, Anime, Pez, cigar-store Indians and Barbie, and places them in a contemporary Indian cultural context alongside fried bolgna sandwitches, two-steps, and star quilts. There is Indian Humor that not everyone is going to "get" ...no vision quests and no mixed-blood identity crises... Written in first person, each chapter begins with a refreshingly non-linear journal entry. In both journal and narrative, we see Cassidy Rain, called 'Rainy Day' by her mom, as a smart teenager with an acerbic wit."
—Beverly Slapin of Oyate, f
or Multicultural Review
(this is taken from a longer review;
ee Multicultural Review for entire text)
"RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME is a poignant chronicle of the tender years. As a main character, Rain proves truthful, pensive, able to laugh at herself and absolutely intriguing. The way she handles herself when the cards of her life are shuffled and cut with lies and secrets provides an inspiring tale for teens."
Warm Rain by Lynn Remick for January Magazine
(follow the link to read the entire review online)