Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Looking for Newbery - The Red Umbrella
I initially read The Red Umbrella this summer when it was recommended to me by one of the very smart ladies at my favorite independent children's bookstore, Cover to Cover. It was a great recommendation -- the characters, the setting, the problems and conflicts all kept me mesmerized from first page to last.
In addition, as I blogged this summer, The Red Umbrella has many layers which allows it to appeal to many audiences. I am amazed that the author, Christina Diaz Gonazalez, is a first time author. She writes about a topic that is close to her heart (the reader should definitely read her author's note at the end) which probably is why the language of the book is so beautiful and compelling, and the situations in the story are so real.
This book challenged my thinking about Cuba since I was born in the mid-50's and was aware in the 60's of our country's perception of Cuba. The Cuba in this story incorporates that thinking, but it is so much more -- it is a beautiful place where proud Cubans lived, willing to stand up to Castro's revolution.
The Red Umbrella got many favorable reviews this year, particularly in the GoodReads Mock Newbery group. It is a book worthy of being mentioned in these Mock Newbery conversations!