Monday, January 11, 2010

Looking for Newbery - Umbrella Summer

One week from today we will know what book won the Newbery Award, and which books won Newbery Honors!! What that means for Bill and me is that we will both probably be able to fit in 3 more "Looking for Newbery" blog posts each before the big announcement.

Then, next Monday after the announcements, we are getting together for breakfast and shopping at our favorite children's bookstore, Cover to Cover, with the other Central Ohio bloggers (thanks to Mary Lee and Franki at A Year of Reading for organizing our group). We'll be chatting about the actual picks, hoping that we have at least read one of the winners, and of course, browsing/buying books. Tune in next Monday for all the details.

In the meantime, today I'd like to talk about Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff. When I read it this summer, I first fell in love with the front cover. Then I fell in love with the characters. The fact that I've enjoyed Graff's other books (which are wildly different from this one) was just an added bonus.

In Umbrella Summer, the main character, Annie, is a memorable character. She is a young girl with many quirks and eccentricities all stemming from a horrible loss in her life. She is grieving in the only way she can manage -- through obsessively cautious behavior. As I said in my review this summer, Graff's use of an umbrella as an analogy of how to cope with grief is very cleverly done.

Newbery or not, Umbrella Summer is beautifully written, has amazing character development, and has a rich theme to discuss. It is a noteworthy book.

10 comments:

  1. Ohhhhh Umbrella Summer....I enjoyed reading that book so so much. So beautifully written. I am hoping to read it next year in Lit.Circles with my 5th graders.

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  2. I took a class last fall through ALA on the Newbery, then and now... one of the things I came away with was how it's an award for ONE of the best books of the year. There are so many! Thanks for pointing me to this one -- will read.

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  3. I fell in love with the cover, then read that YOU'D fallen in love with the cover before reading the book. I love books that deal honestly and usefully with loss. It's on my to-read list.

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  4. I fell in love with the cover at first glance, then read that YOU'D done the same thing. It made me smile. I love books that deal honestly and usefully with loss. It's on my to-read list.

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  5. DUH. Commented...several times before seeing that you approve comments before posting. Sorry:-)

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  6. Have been wanting to read this book and now I will move it closer to the top of my TBR (to be read) pile.

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  7. Oh another book to get. I would love to hang out with you all next Monday!

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  8. Sounds like a great book - thanks for the review!

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  9. This one is on my list! I like that Lisa Graff writes about such a variety of themes and topics. Her books are funny and thought provoking all at once. (Cover is amazing too, as you say!)

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  10. I was on the Middle Grades Fiction panel for Cybils and this is one of the books we didn't get a review copy of and it wasn't in my library so I didn't get to read it. I have heard so many good things about it. I have it marked on Amazon to purchase.

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