THE RAIN CATCHERS

From the book:

"A young man stands behind me, legs apart, hands on hips. He is - astonishing! His black hair is close-cut and curly, and his skin is ivory, flawless, smooth as satin. His eyes glow golden through lashes as long as a girl's. He's dressed all in black - a running outfit under a long coat. He's no older than Aaron and yet he is older - older, somehow, than even Grandmother.

"He smiles, showing perfect teeth, and cocks his head to one side. 'Well, well, little girl tourist,' he says. 'You looking for somebody - or something? Me, Dancer, I find you anybody or anything. You name your pleasure and I fix you up. Yes!' And he laughs his wonderful laugh again.

"I can't help smiling, especially when I see that he's wearing ballet shoes. 'I think I'm lost,' I say, and I hold out the map.

He shakes his head and leaps back a small step. 'Dancer don't need no map, little girl tourist. Where you going? What you want to find when you get there?'

"Suddenly I come to my senses. I shouldn't tell this strange boy tht I need to find my way to Mother's. Danger flicks around him like sparks."

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Fourteen years ago, when Grayling was just a baby, her strangely remote mother left her behind with Grandmother. The circle of women who share Grandmother's big old house have puzzled over the matter, but for Grayling life is good. As she says, "This is my grandmother's house, where the honeysuckle rain falls in the summer, where most stories have beginnings, middles, and ends." The women watch over one another, and everyone watches over Grayling and her friend Colleen.

But this summer will bring changes - a new friendship for Grayling with Aaron, and the reappearance of her mother. She visits her mother in San Francisco and meets the strange young man who calls himself Dancer but might better be called Danger. Impulsively, far from home, she puts herself in jeopardy.

Grayling's encounters with death, love, romance, and peril help her discover the ending of one part of the story and join the circle of the rain catchers.

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SCBW Golden Kite Award, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, SLJ Best Book, Booklist Editors Choice, IRA YA Choices

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