Reader Reviewed Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan

Apple and Rain

Written by Sarah Crossan

11+ readers   Children's Book Award 2016   All Shortlists and Winners   13+ readers   UKLA 2016   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Winner of the Children’s Book Award 2016, Books for Older Readers category - Longlisted for the 2015 Guardian Children's Book prize - Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal Apple is sure that one day her mother will return. And when that happens she is sure that everything in her life will be good again. But when Mum does return, Apple finds that what you wish for may not always be what you really want. With the arrival of mum, Apple’s life is turned upside down. Home, school and most of all, what she really thinks about all those around her, are all thrown into confusion. Can Apple find happiness in a new way of life? Apple’s poems help her to tell this touching story of an unhappy and complicated family life.

Reader Reviews

Teens love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Ella Day, age 11 - 'The way it is written draws you into the story and I like how the author uses vivid imagery to set the scene.'
  • Aimee Sweet - 'If you like Jacqueline Wilson, then you’d love this book. Not only is it gripping and fast paced, the novel has a deeper meaning behind it too.'
  • Stacie Ball - 'A beautiful story focused soley around family. Apple is one character you wont forget in a hurry.'
  • Chloe Shortall, age 18 - 'Apple and Rain is a fantastic, heartbreaking story about unconditional love and the strength of a young girl willing to do whatever it takes to keep her family together.'
  • Poppy, age 15 - 'I thought that Apple and Rain was very good and extremely hard to put down! I thought that it had a good moral, storyline and plot. A good read that I would recommend.'
  • Ellen Faulkner, age 13 - 'Apple and Rain is a beautifully narrated story about friends and family. Anyone with half a heart should definitely read this lyrical story.'
  • Destiny Maraj, age 13 - 'This novel was absolutely amazing and was written by a fantastic author!'
  • Safiyah Davenport - 'Inspiring and beautifully crafted this book really tugs at the heart strings.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'This is a story to pull at the heart strings with a young heroine in the centre of the story that shows amazing strength.'
  • Mariam Ahmed - 'Apple and Rain has a very stomach-twisting-moderately- intense atmosphere about it.'
  • Charlotte, age 13 - 'It took me less than twelve hours to finish Apple and  Rain - it was one of those books that I just had to read secretly under my duvet.'
  • Elle Cogan, age 11 - 'When she turns up out of the blue, Apple finally has the mother she's been dreaming of. But her mother has secrets...I loved this book, and was hooked within the first few words.'
  • Jade Craddock - 'this is a brave novel, that takes off the rose-tinted spectacles to look at family life and portray the sombre side of the coin.'
  • Lauren Coffman, age 14 - ', I was fully engrossed in the story, feeling a part of it all, and experiencing the emotions just through the words on the page. I really connected with this book and would recommend this very highly.' 
  • Immy Fisher - 'The book Apple and Rain was even better than I expected it to be.'
  • ALex McAulay, age 11 - 'I could not stop reading this book, it is amazing!'
  • Michael, age 14 - 'A very moving story.'


Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan

When Apple's mother returns after eleven years of absence, Apple feels whole again. She will have an answer to her burning question - why did you go? And she will have someone who understands what it means to be a teenager - unlike Nana. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother's homecoming is bitter sweet, and Apple wonders who is really looking after whom. It's only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is, that she begins to see things as they really are.

Like a brilliant hybrid of Cathy Cassidy and Jacqueline Wilson, Sarah Crossan entices you into her world, then tells a moving, perceptive and beautifully crafted story which has the power to make you laugh and cry.


Praise for Apple and Rain
‘This poignant, realistic tale is about learning to love and taking responsibility, and about how poems can tell the truth, as Emily Dickinson put it, at a “slant” ’ Sunday Times, Pick of the Week

‘Crossan’s skill as a writer is at its most pronounced, contributing to a portrayal of adolescence that is subtle and humane’ Irish Times

‘An inspiring tale’ Irish Examiner

‘It’ll make you laugh and cry . . .’ Company

‘Apple and Rain is a beautifully crafted story about painful reunions, loyalty and the true meaning of love; a story with a deep emotional core, both heart-wrenching and heart-warming’ Sita Brahmachari, author of Artichoke Hearts

‘Sarah Crossan writes with insight and honesty in this moving story of family, friendship, and love’ Claire Furniss, author of The Year of the Rat

‘Honest, funny and at times, heart-breaking. Apple and Rain is perfect for readers who want to read about an ordinary person with an extraordinary family’ Rebecca Westcott, author of Dandelion Clocks

‘Apple and Rain is a wonderful feel-good kind of book, the kind that doesn’t offer you an unrealistic happy ending, but rather an ending which leaves the reader full of hope. A wonderful book indeed’

Praise for The Weight of Water

A story of the redeeming power of love. It's beautifully written and it made me cry but it also made me laugh The Bookbag

Poignant, powerful, just perfect - Cathy Cassidy

Succinct, with a gentle lyricism, the poems are telling about immigration, prejudice, self-delusion, families and first love, on the way to a life-changing conclusion The
Sunday Times - Children's Books of the Week

Exquistely and touchingly written - Irish Times

About the Author

Sarah Crossan

Sarah Crossan is Irish. She graduated with a degree in philosophy and literature before training as an English and drama teacher at Cambridge University and has been working to promote creative writing in schools since. She teaches English at a small private school near New York. She completed her Masters in creative writing at the University of Warwick in 2003 and in 2010 received an Edward Albee Fellowship for writing.

Sarah is a judge at the first The National Literacy Poetry Prize: "Poetry is the first language we speak. When we are born, we own it and we love it but somehow, along the way, children turn away from this, the most primitive of languages. It's everyone's job to make sure children feel that poetry belongs to them - which is does."

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Book Info


240 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Sarah Crossan
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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Publication date

12th February 2015




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