Title: Umbrella Summer
Author: Lisa Graff
# Of Pages: 240
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: March 29, 2011
Level: Middle Grade
Level: Middle Grade
Rating: 4 Hearts
Annie Richards knows there are a million things to look out for- bicycle accidents, chicken pox, and runaway zoo animals. That’s why being careful is so important, even if it does mean giving up some of her favorite things, like bike races with her best friend and hot dogs on the Fourth of July. Everyone keeps telling Annie not to worry so much, that she’s just fine. But they thought her brother, Jared, was just fine too, and Jared died.
It takes a new neighbor to make Annie realize that her plans for being careful aren’t working out as well as she’d hoped. And with a lot of help from those around her, Annie just may find a way to close her umbrella of sadness and step back into the sunshine.
I have to start out by saying how much I love this cover! My favorite color is pink and I have a whole polka dotted wall in my bedroom, so when I saw this cover I just had to read it.
I love reading middle grade books because the characters are always so quirky and lovable. In this book the main character Annie is afraid of everything ever since her brother Jared dies unexpectedly. Annie’s parents haven’t been the same since her brother’s death, but they refuse to talk about it, leaving Annie to deal with things in her own way. She wears a helmet when walking down the street, goes through more boxes of band-aids than a family of 12, and knows more about diseases than any 10 year old should (thanks to Mrs. Harper’s giant green copy of The Everyday Guide to Preventing Illness.) Friends and family all tell her that she needs to stop worrying so much. Like it’s that easy.
It takes a new neighbor who can relate to Annie to show her that you can’t spend your life afraid of everything that could happen because if you do you’ll loose out on all the good things life has to offer.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading this book. I liked the characters, I liked the storyline, and I liked the message it sent.