Synopses & Reviews
The teasing. The shoving. The name-calling. It’s what overweight Moo Nelson calls “the rain.” It’s what he has to deal with every day of his life. There’s no umbrella big enough to keep the other kids’ cruelty from pouring down on him. But everything is different on the bridge. Moo’s bridge. High above the traffic, it’s the only place Moo can watch the world go by and be in peace. Until the night Moo witnesses a car chase. And a murder. Suddenly, everyone — gangsters, policemen, and even the school bullies — want something from Moo. They want the truth — or some version of it. Now Moo must decide between truth and lies, loyalty and loneliness, justice and retribution. And he must do it soon...In a bold, unforgettable voice, Kevin Brooks tells a story of pain and discovery that will resonate with young adult readers everywhere.
Voice of Youth Advocates
(April 1, 2004; 0-439-57742-X)
Fifteen-year-old Moo Nelson is clever, almost friendless, and finds solace in food. He defies brutal peer bullying for being overweight by discounting it as "the RAIN." His respite from the difficult social world of school and from a mother and father who mean well but who do not quite understand how to be good parents is a nearby bridge spanning a highway. One evening while enjoying his favorite overlook, Moo witnesses seeming road rage resulting in a murder. Moo soon realizes that it was a police setup to nab a dangerous criminal who was released from a previous murder charge because of a technicality. The police try to blackmail Moo into saying that from his vantage point he observed the criminal committing the murder, whereas the criminal and his cohorts pressure Moo to testify to the opposite. Moo finds himself caught in a web of danger, fear, and confusion as he tries to tell the truth. In desperation to free himself, his family, and his friend, Brady, from threats he knows they cannot escape, he develops a treacherous plot to settle the score. Exceptionally vivid characters and events come to life through Moo's first-person standpoint. Violence, terror, and intimidation are strongly depicted. The drama builds almost painfully as Moo's startling dilemma increases, culminating in an abrupt cliffhanger. This is a powerful and unique story with many intriguing elements, leaving behind an immense, multi-faceted question mark. Readers drawn to Gail Giles's Shattering Glass (Roaring Brook, 2002/VOYA June 2002), or Sue Mayfield's Drowning Anna (Hyperion, 2002/VOYA February 2003), will find it just as engrossing, with added layers of depth.-Diane Tuccillo. I loved this novel! Too many books have weak, unrealistic plots, uncharacteristic dialogue, and flawless characters, but Brooks gets real in this one. Moo calls the teasing RAIN-RAIN of words, of cruelty, of hate-all of which Brooks uses to paint a vividly realistic portrait of Moo's life. Also, Brady's character is so undeniably real that I have begun looking for him in the halls! The book leaves you hanging, dying for an ending, dying to know more. Moo's speech, with slurs and phrases, adds to the novel. It feels as if Moo comes over for tea and tells, firsthand, what happened.-Mandi Levendowski, Teen Reviewer.
School Library Journal
(March 1, 2004; 0-439-57742-X)
Gr 9 Up-Michael "Moo" Nelson is an uncouth, overweight, working-class 15-year-old who escapes the daily harassment-the "rain" as he calls it-he faces at school by riding his bike to a bridge, climbing to a familiar vantage point, and losing himself in the Zen of watching the endless flow of traffic. His life is changed when he witnesses a murder from the bridge. The alleged killer is a notoriously ruthless organized-crime figure and Michael is the only one who knows that the man is innocent of this particular crime, but is being framed by the police, who are eager to see him behind bars. Michael quickly becomes the recipient of bribes and threats from parties on both sides of the high-profile case, and his knowledge unwittingly translates to power at school where his former tormentors, aware of his potent connections, are suddenly reluctant to mess with him. Ultimately, he faces a dilemma: he can tell the truth and allow a nefarious thug to remain free, in which case the police have made it clear they'll pursue welfare-fraud charges against the teen's freeloading father, or he can lie and send the gang boss to prison, in which case he seems bound to be targeted for retribution. Brooks abruptly finishes the novel with Moo considering a third, violent alternative-one that, while risky and rash, would clearly demonstrate his growth as a character. Unfortunately, readers are left to guess how things turn out, and that is likely to infuriate those who've hung with Moo till the end
From the acclaimed author of "Martyn Pig" and "Lucas" comes another thought-provoking thriller--a story of pain and discovery that will resonate with young adult readers.
From the acclaimed author of MARTYN PIG and LUCAS comes another compelling, edgy ,YA thriller about love, loss, and life.
Moo Nelson likes to be alone. Overweight and shy, Moo is constantly mocked and bullied by his cruel classmates. He's happiest spending time on a secluded bridge above the highway, watching the cars go by. One day, from his special spot, Moo witnesses a crime that changes his life forever. He sees a car chase and a murder--and suddenly Moo's a celebrity of sorts. The police, the lawyers, and even the bullies are now really interested in Moo. But so is one shady character who seems intent on tracking Moo down. Now all Moo has to do is find out the truth behind the crime...before it's too late.
About the Author
Kevin Brooks is the groundbreaking author of the internationally acclaimed novels DAWN; BLACK RABBIT SUMMER; BEING; THE ROAD OF THE DEAD, a Mystery Writers of America "Edgar" nominee; CANDY; KISSING THE RAIN; LUCAS; and MARTYN PIG, which received England's Branford Boase Award for Best First Novel. Brooks lives in Yorkshire, England.