This is a book by an Australian author with themes that are definitely cross continent ideas. Rain, the main character of the story is a 12 year old girl whose parents have gone through a divorce and she's having a difficult time coping. She does not like, particularly, her father's new girlfriend, although she has not given her much of a chance, either. She also really does not love the tiny town her mother has decided to move to called Clarkson, which she has re-christened Boringsville. It doesn't even have a pizza parlor, for crikey's sake.
Rain finds a friend in her new neighbor Daniel, who's a bit eccentric (called by other people perhaps strange) but very nice. Daniel, who is physically not well, alternates as narrator of the story with Rain, and we hear his worries as well as hers throughout the story, his main worry, of course, is Noe that he's found this new friend, she'll soon dump him. Not in a boy/girl crush kind of dump, just in an I don't want to be your friend any more kind of way. Which, frankly, seems a lot worse in the long run.
one element of this story I particularly enjoyed was a the magnetic fridge poetry shard by Rain and her mom. Although that is not the ideal parent/child communication method, I think it was a very safe thing, and that's something Rain needed. Probably her mom did, too.
The story is at times funny, at times sad, but definitely ends on a hopeful tone, although not a sticky, sappy sweet everything's okay now kind of thing. It's more of a hey, life is going to be ok, and that's a pretty good message most days.
Recommended, although I think the book is now out of print.