Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff

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Annie Richards knows there are a million things to look out for—bicycle accidents, food poisoning, chicken pox, smallpox, typhoid fever, runaway zoo animals, and poison oak. That's why being careful is so important, even if it does mean giving up some of her favorite things, like bike races with her best friend, Rebecca, and hot dogs on the Fourth of July. Everyone keeps telling Annie not to worry so much, that she's just fine. But they thought her brother, Jared, was just fine too, and Jared died.

It takes a new neighbor, who looks as plain as a box of toothpicks but has some surprising secrets of her own, to make Annie realize that her plans for being careful aren't working out as well as she had hoped. And with a lot of help from those around her—and a book about a pig, too—Annie just may find a way to close her umbrella of sadness and step back into the sunshine.

With winsome humor and a dash of small-town charm, Lisa Graff's third novel is a touching look at rising above grief and the healing power of community.


About Lisa Graff

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Lisa Graff ( has never been part of a dare war, but has thought up a couple extra-tough doozies just in case. She lives in New York City.
Published May 28, 2009 by HarperCollins. 245 pages
Genres: Children's Books.

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The loving adults who surround Annie are aware of her fears but bumble in their attempts to comfort her, until a new neighbor, grieving over her husband’s recent death, finds just the right words and caring interventions to ease Annie, and ultimately others around her, into taking down the metaph...

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She uses humor, a bit of mystery and a vivid imagination to keep the pages turning, and her characters are colorful and distinct, especially Annie, whose intelligence, deeply felt emotions and troubled spirit dive right into the reader’s heart.

Mar 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Umbrella Summer

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