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.