May I Ask a Favor? Cover Reveal for Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

HELLO, NERDIES! This feels like a sweet reunion. I am honored and thrilled to return to Nerdy to reveal my cover of Shouting at the Rain, brilliantly designed by Maggie Edkins at Penguin. But I am also here to…

If you are a teacher, librarian, or parent who knows any child who has enjoyed either of my first books, One for the Murphys or Fish in a Tree, please deliver a message for me.

Please tell those kids that I am grateful for them. Tell them that Shouting at the Rain could never have been written without them.

Writing this book was so difficult for me that I sometimes thought about doing something easier. Like lifeguarding on the Arctic Circle. But when I got discouraged . . . when I lacked the courage I needed to delve deep, I thought about my cherished readers.

I thought about their letters and their drawings, their videos, their emails, and our Skypes. I thought a lot about the kids who’ve developed compassion for children in foster care or in poverty or who struggle in some way. But, I must admit, I thought even more about the kids I’ve met who saw themselves in my books–and learned to cut themselves a break. Kids who’ve gone from shame to proudly announcing to their classmates that they have a learning difference. Or kids who told me in private that they were in foster care. Who told me they thought they’d have unhappy lives, but Murphys gave them hope. But, I wondered . . . what do my readers need from me this time?

They need me to be honest. They need me to be vulnerable. They need me to explore things I’d put away long ago.

Delsie, the main character, and her best friend, Ronan, are the two sides of me at twelve. Delsie is optimistic and happy but dragging a heavy emotional block. Ronan is wounded and walled off. Highly sensitive and wise but angry. Fiercely loyal and protective. But always in trouble even though he doesn’t want to be.

I have listened to these two debate. One saying we are broken because of the things that have happened. The other incensed by such an idea; how can we be broken because of the things that others have done?

Well, intellectually, I know which character is right . . . but I can feel both arguments. Sitting at my desk felt like riding out a storm in an inflatable boat.

So why did I continue?

Because children stand on the cusp of absolutely everything. And they need to know that they can make any life they want. If they’ve been dealt a difficult hand, it will be harder, but with compassion and courage and hustle anything is possible.

It took a long time to coax these two twelve-year-olds to be honest with me, but Delsie and Ronan are finally ready to step off the pages and into the world. And I am ready to introduce them.

I believe they breathe.

And I know they’re here only because of kids I have yet to meet.

From the author of New York Times bestseller Fish in a Tree comes a compelling story about perspective and learning to love the family you have.

Delsie loves tracking the weather—lately, though, it seems the squalls are in her own life. She’s always lived with her kindhearted Grammy, but now she’s looking at their life with new eyes and wishing she could have a ‘regular family.’ Delsie observes other changes in the air, too—the most painful being a friend who’s outgrown her. Luckily, she has neighbors with strong shoulders to support her, and Ronan, a new friend who is caring and courageous but also troubled by the losses he’s endured. As Ronan and Delsie traipse around Cape Cod on their adventures, they both learn what it means to be angry versus sad, broken versus whole, and abandoned versus loved. And that, together, they can weather any storm.

ARCs (advance reader copies) of SHOUTING AT THE RAIN will be available in November. I am holding a giveaway for two signed ARCs to be mailed to two winning teachers as soon as I get my hands on them. To enter, please comment on this post and/or tweet this post on Twitter with the hashtag #SATR. The hashtag will help me find your tweet. If you’d like, you may also tag me at @Lynmullalyhunt so I can thank you personally.

GIVEAWAY ENTRIES (COMMENTS/TWEETS) MUST BE DATED ON OR BEFORE 11/1/18 AT 11:59 PM EST TO BE ELIGIBLE.

My thanks to The Nerdy Book Club and its countless members. I know there are MANY teachers and librarians out there with strong shoulders.