Friday, July 9, 2010

Lisa Graff. UMBRELLA SUMMER


Annie Richards lost her brother suddenly. He died from a rare heart condition that no one could have known about. That event caused Annie to because extremely cautious in everything she does. When she bikes she wears not only her helmet, but also various pads and tape for her her ankles. She's even been caught wearing her helmet while walking down the street. She becomes engrossed in a book about preventing disease. She figures since they didn't catch what was wrong with her brother that she could easily catch something too. If she feels slightly bad, she fears she has various conditions like African Sleeping Sickness. Plus, she avoids foods she used to love like hot dogs, because they may have e coli. She doesn't see how this is causing her to miss out on her life and normal 10-year-old fun. Her friends and family notice her caution, but aren't able stop her behavior.
Then a very special neighbor moves in across the street. Mrs. Finch has recently lost someone too, so maybe that's why Annie listens to her. They become friends and Mrs. Finch is able to help Annie see how to embrace life again. And maybe Annie can now help her parents learn to move on after her brother's death too.
This was a lovely, charming and funny book. Annie is quite the character. She is able to make you see how all of her precautions make perfect sense. Her voice fells like an authentic 10-year-old girl.
I also love the sense of community and friendship in this book. You won't regret reading this sensitive, hopeful book.

Click here for more about the author & to check out her other books.