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Umbrella Summer Hardcover – June 2, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 155 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Graff has created a lively, quirky individual who tells her story with frankness and humor.” (School Library Journal)

“With the same deftness she demonstrated in THE THING ABOUT GEORGIE, Graff immediately engages the reader.” (Horn Book Magazine)

“An appealing and moving choice for readers seeking a dose of feel-good reality fiction.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Umbrella Summer is a radiant book.” (—Kirby Larson, author of Newberry Honor book Hattie Big Sky)

About the Author

Lisa Graff is the author of The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower and The Thing About Georgie, which was named to nine state reading lists. Lisa grew up in a small California town very much like the one in this novel and received an MFA in writing for children from the New School.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061431877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061431876
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,406,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
There's a reason I don't read Jodi Picoult. It involves the size of my eyelids the morning after I read one of her books. HUGELY PUFFY! Something happened when I had child number two-I can't cry over a sad movie, show, or book right before bed without waking the next morning looking like my eyelids have been stung by bees. It's not pretty.
This morning-puffy, swollen, bee-stung eyelids. Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff caused me to do some serious de-puffing this morning, but I loved this book! Sad books don't always make great read-alouds, but I do believe that the conversations you could have make this a good consideration for a read-aloud. I don't want to say anything else about the sadness, but boy is this a great book! The power of community to help a person heal-what a great message!
The main character Annie, is a girl I can relate to-she worries about everything! Bike safety, dangerous diseases, and more. She worries so much she has given up many of her favorite things to do, like racing on her bike with her best friend. Too dangerous. Now even though I can relate to Annie and her worries, the reason behind our compulsive worrying is not similar. We won't go into my issues, but Annie feels she needs to do enough worrying to keep herself and her family safe. Through her friendship with an elderly, new, next-door neighbor, the reading of Charlotte's Web (love books that reference other books!), and a few mishaps along the way, Annie learns that worrying isn't as necessary or all-consuming as she was letting be.
I'm so happy I loved this book, which sounds like a silly thing to say, but it bothered me that I did not like Bernetta Wallflower when so many other people have liked it. In my opinion it will become a kid's classic in the same vein as The Bridge to Terabithia.

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A Kid's Review on July 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I received Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff for my birthday this year, just days after it came out. I was excited about this, because I had already read Mrs. Graff's The Thing About Georgie, and read about this book online.

When I was debating on whether or not to start reading it, I thought, "Well, I'll just read the first chapter to see how it goes." And I ended up reading half of the book. And later that evening, I read the rest.

At the end of the book, I couldn't figure out whether to cry or just smile like an idiot. The last paragraph/sentence was truly epic in my opinion.

Lisa Graff is an amazing writer, and her characters are always real and relatable. I am looking foward to her next book.

Over all, Umbrella Summer is a must read. Order it right now, or just run to the book store.
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Format: Hardcover
Annie hates getting the "dead brother" look, but she seldom escapes it during the first year after her older brother Jared's death. Now Annie is ultra careful to make sure she does don't have any diseases (like Ebola) or take chances that may cause her to be injured (like running an obstacle course,) since no one knew her brother Jared was sick until it was too late. As Jared's birthday approaches, each of the people who knew and loved him struggle to deal with the fact that he is gone.

Each character in Umbrella Summer plays an important part in helping Annie discover how best to celebrate her brother's life. Lisa Graff paints a humorous and poignant picture of the lives of Annie, her parents, her best friend, and the community that surrounds them.
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By Jo Ann on July 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lisa Graff is now one of my favorite authors. She's one of those rare children's authors whose books speak to adults as well. I read The Thing About Georgie and loved it so much I bought copies for my son's 4th grade class.
Umbrella Summer was even better. The characters are funny and quirky and very real. There are messages in her books that are very powerful but in a way that isn't preachy or awkward. I'm 45 and I liked this book so much, I read it to my 10 year old son and then bought a copy for a friend.
I can't wait for more of her stories!
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Format: Paperback
I chose this book from a summer reading list for my school, and I'm really glad I did! I might spoil the story so if you have not read this book yet you might want to stop now! The story takes place in the present day in a small town in California. I know this because everybody has phones, computers, and cars just like we do today. The story does not move from place to place, and the story does not remind me of a real place or another book.

While reading the story, I felt sad and happy at the same time. I felt sad because the main character's brother dies but happy because she ends up making up with lots of old friends and learning how to live again. I think the author chose to write in this mood because maybe something happened like this in her family that turned out to have a happy ending.

There are three main characters:

1. Annie Richards, age: 10. Annie's only brother dies and her whole life changes. When her mom gets sad, she cleans the house, and her dad calls her Moonbeam. Annie describes her hair as being the same color as the owner of the grocery store's compost pile. After her brother dies, Annie finds a big green book of medical information, then starts thinking that she's going to die all the time like her brother. Her role in the story is that she loses lots of friends with her weird behavior, but then gets them all back by deciding to stop being so afraid of dying.

2. Rebecca Young, age: 10. Rebecca's dad is a doctor, and her mom is good at cooking. She has to have a babysitter whenever her dad goes to work. Rebecca is nice sometimes but mean others, and Rebecca and Annie decide that Rebecca's hair is the color of her mom's freshly baked bread. Rebecca is very good at obstacle courses.
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