Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

The Red Umbrella is a first rate novel that will hold the interests of nearly all pre-teen readers. Full of twists and turns, The Red Umbrella tells the story of a 14-year-old girl named Lucia who lives in Cuba. Life was usually peaceful in Cuba, but that was before the revolution started. Now soldiers are everywhere and parents are sending their children away so as to escape the revolution. As this happens, Lucia's father runs into problems with the government and is almost sent to jail! The government forces Lucia s parents to send Lucia and her brother, Frankie, away to America to stay with a family there. Lucia's parents are devastated but they have no choice except to let Lucia and Frankie go.

Will Lucia's and Frankie's new family, even if only temporary, be a good one? And will she and her brother ever see their parents again? Gonzalez's realistic characters come to life in this intriguing story and show how amazingly brave two people can be through the hardest of times.

The Red Umbrella is well written and full of twists and turns. However, if I were to read it again, which I am sure that I will, I would hope for a more exciting and gratifying ending. The vocabulary is very age appropriate and while reading this book, I learned quite a few Spanish words. Throughout The Red Umbrella, there are short phrases and words that are listed in the glossary in the back of the book. In this moving and entertaining story, I feel the realistic characters are easy to relate to. It is also easy to imagine them as real people which is why this is such an amazing story. I highly recommend this book to all pre-teen readers interested in dramatic novels.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Akron, Ohio United States of America