Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Blue Umbrella by Mike Mason

The Blue Umbrella is the first venture into fiction from a non-fiction author, Mike Mason. It's an intriguing combination of sci-fi and fantasy and obviously the work of someone with a wonderfully active imagination. My almost 11 year old and I both read it and we both enjoyed it. Aubrey thought it was very well written. "I never could guess what was going to happen until the end." I agree with her. Often children's literature can have somewhat of a predictable plot. The Blue Umbrella kept me guessing as well.

The Blue Umbrella tells the story of a boy named Zachery Sparks who is suddenly orphaned when his mother is killed by a lightning strike. Two mysterious aunts show up to claim him and take him home with them. That's when the mystery begins.

Who are these aunties he's never heard of before? Why did they bring him home to live with them only to be cruel? Why is the town of Five Corners, his new home, bewitched? Why is he so fascinated by Sky Porter, the owner of the store across the street from the aunties' house? What are the mysterious lights coming from the second story of the store at night? And why does Mr. Porter always carry that umbrella with him? Why does Dada, the aunts' father, want it more than anything else in the world? In fact Dada wants it so much, he orders Zac to steal it from Mr. Porter who has become a friend. What should Zac do?

The Blue Umbrella combines intrigue, mystery, sinister characters, loneliness, trust, betrayal, grace, redemption, family dysfunctions, and weather phenomena into a captivating yarn. The author states in the "after words" that his intention was not allegorical or to make any kind of statement, but just to tell a good story. There are, however, spiritual parallels that can be drawn from the story. It will also captivate your child's imagination. My daughter is looking forward to a second book in the series.

*This book was given as a complimentary copy to Mama Buzz Reviewers by David C. Cook and Mike Mason, for blog tour and promotion purposes.

The Blue Umbrella: retails for $14.99

Ages 9-12

Enjoy a free excerpt of this book at Mike Mason's website.

The Blue Umbrella, by Mike Mason from David C. Cook on Vimeo.

1 comment:

Josette said...

I thought it was a highly imaginative book! And the cover is fantastic...I simply love it. :)

Here's my review of this book.