Oh. My. Goodness. I cannot believe our luck, Dear Readers: the very busy and in-great-demand Lynda Mullaly Hunt has graciously agreed to visit us for Friend Friday. I have been dying to read her newest book, Shouting at the Rain,(Nancy Paulsen Books) ever since reading the transcript of her heartfelt and honest keynote speech at the SCBWI Annual conference. Plus one of her characters shares a name with one of my granddaughters! Lynda is so warm-hearted and generous and unafraid to do what it takes to tell a story true.
Thanks so much for inviting me to do a post about friendship in my new novel, Shouting at the Rain (Nancy Paulsen Books). I’m so pleased and honored.
Delsie has a best friend that has come to the Cape for the summer each year since the two girls were toddlers. They both have looked forward to their time together all year. But this year, Brandy is different. She is impatient with Delsie who would still rather build sand castles than get manicures. Enter a third girl named Tressa. Brandy and Tressa become friends and Delsie become third girl out.
Friends in threes is very difficult and Delsie’s journey of having a best friend outgrow her is a common one with humans of a great span of ages. As a reader standing outside of the experience many will wonder why she hangs on the way she does. Keeps coming back for more no matter how unkind Tressa becomes. But that is very human. The thought of being alone is a scary one (especially for kids) so we hang on sometimes to relationships that don’t buoy us because we are trying to avoid being alone. Delsie comes to the realization, “I realize that friendship is like boogie boarding. You have to know when to hang on and when to let go.”
Delsie does find a new friend in Ronan, a new boy who compares the people he meets to what shark they would be in the wild. Ronan is wounded in similar ways to Delsie but he is outwardly angry. Keeps people at a distance. Afraid and hurting. But, caring and loyal, too. Together these tweens explore what it means to be abandoned versus loved and broken versus whole. They learn that if you surround yourself with the people who’ll take care of your feelings and love you for who you really are, you can weather any storm.
New York Times bestselling author, Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s novel, FISH IN A TREE, is an ALA Schneider Family Book Award winner, an ALA Notable Book, a Global Read Aloud, a SLJ Best Book, a Nerdy Book, and a SCBWI Crystal Kite winner. Her first novel, ONE FOR THE MURPHYS is an ABA New Voices Pick, a Nerdy Book, and a Global Read Aloud. Combined, Lynda’s books have appeared on 58 state award lists and are published in 28 languages. Her next novel, SHOUTING AT THE RAIN (a Junior Library Guild selection) is a Cape Cod story due out May 7.