rain back coverA Chapter From RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME





Warning: this page gives away some events and language from the novel.

Memory Ticklers

  1. Who was the only person in town not to attend Galen’s funeral?
  2. Who read a poem?
  3. What is Rain’s relationship to Aunt Georgia?
  4. What program is Aunt Georgia planning to lead?
  5. Where is Grampa Berghoff?
  6. Who does Rain run into on the way to the store?
  7. What does Bernadette Rae do for a living?
  8. What does Mrs. Owen ask Rain about in Frozen Foods?
  9. What is Lorelei’s nickname?
  10. Where is Dad stationed?

For Book Talks Or For Your Journal

boarding schools

Aunt Georgia’s mama and Rain’s great-gramma Melba grew up together at Seneca Indian School.

Read MY NAME IS SEEPEETZA by Shirley Sterling (Groundwood, 1997) for insights into the historical Indian boarding schools experience.


Rain says: “At school the subject of Native Americans pretty much comes up just around Turkey Day, like those cardboard cutouts of the Pilgrims and the pumpkins and the squash taped to the windows at McDonald’s. And the so-called Indians always look like bogeymen on the prairie, windblown cover boys selling paperback romances, or babyfaced refugees from the world of Precious Moments.”

Whether you are a Native or non-Indian reader, write about your earliest images of Native people from home and the outside world.

Write about your images of Native people today.

How do these compare and contrast with the Indian characters in RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME?


When Fynn comes into the kitchen Rain is reading a season two Mulder-Scully romance fic on an X-Philes site. X-Philes is the nickname for fans of The X-Files.

Is fandom a part of your life? What does it say about Rain that she enjoys popular science fiction?


Rain is also a big user of the Internet. She surfs the ’net and participates in chat rooms.

Why do you think Rain is spending so much time online at this point in the story?

What role does the Internet play in your life?

postcard exercise A

Grampa Berghoff sends Rain a postcard from Las Vegas. He mentions winning $300 from the slot machines and meeting a sexy widow named Clementine.

Imagine you are Rain during this chapter and write a postcard back to Grampa.

weather imagery

Six Months Later is one of the many chapters of the novel in which weather is used to establish mood.

Can you find a few examples? How do they affect the mood of the scene? How does the weather affect your moods?

first impressions

What are your first impressions of Mrs. Owen, Bernadette Rae, and Lorelei? Why?

How does the way Rain behaves around them affect your opinion of them?

How about what they say? How they act?

long distance

Dad first speaks in the story during a phone call with Rain that’s at the end of this chapter.

Do you sense any tension between Rain and Dad? How is this tension shown in Rain’s narration? What is it about?