Reviewed by Sara McGinn (age 9) for Reader Views (9/09)
When her brother died in a hockey accident, Annie Richards made a life-changing decision to be extra, extra careful all the time. Annie’s decision was tough. She gave up a lot of fun things she used to do, like eating hotdogs on the fourth of July since she might get food poisoning and bike races with her best friend, Rebecca, since she might fall and get injured. I think this is nuts because she gave up doing all the fun things in her life!
Annie spends so much time worrying about getting really sick or hurt that she doesn’t have any time to be happy. That’s her umbrella of sadness. Her new neighbor, Mrs. Finch, also has one and I really liked that they tried to help each other close their umbrellas! I learned that worrying so much could take all the fun out of life.
The author did a good job developing the characters in this book. I liked Annie’s character because I enjoyed watching her change over the course of the story. Mrs. Finch seemed wise with all the knowledge about Annie’s umbrella and Rebecca was an understanding friend so I really like her character.
“Umbrella Summer” by Lisa Graff was an enjoyable read but I did have to use the dictionary quite a bit. I am glad I read this book, otherwise, I probably would not know about my own umbrella!