Monday, December 7, 2009

The Blue Umbrella

The Blue Umbrella
Written by Mike Mason
Published at David C Cook

About the book
The life of ten-year-old Zac Sparks changes overnight when his mother is killed by lightning. He's sent to live in Five Corners with his Aunties, two cruel old hags who obviously don't like him. It isn't long before Zac knows something really strange is going on. Five Corners is populated with weird characters—a midget butler, a girl who doesn't speak, a blind balloon seller, and a mysterious singer who is heard but not seen. Then there's the Aunties' father, Dada. Zac's first encounter with Dada is so terrifying he faints dead away.

The one bright spot is Sky Porter, the proprietor of the general store across the street, a friendly soul who encourages Zac—when the Aunties aren't looking—and shows him a kindness that is sadly lacking from his dismal life. But Sky isn't what he seems either, and when Zac learns Sky's amazing secret he realizes, to his dismay, that this wonderful man may have a very dark side as well.

Discovering that Dada is an evil magician who has found a way to live forever, Zac knows many lives are at stake, including his own. With time running out, he must turn to the one person who might be able to help: Sky Porter. Can Zac trust him?

Who is Mike Mason?
Mike Mason is the best-selling, award-winning author of The Mystery of Marriage, The Gospel According to Job, Practicing the Presence of People, and many others. He has an M.A. in English and has studied theology at Regent College. He lives in Langley, BC, Canada, with his wife, Karen, a family physician. They have one daughter, Heather, who is pursuing a career in dance and the arts . This is Mike's first novel

My Thoughts
First, I need to be totally honest with you and warn you that this novel is creepy. At least the beginning is. This novel is very dark for my taste. Intentionally written for children aged 9-12 years old, I would not let my oldest son read this book next year when he will turn 9. I think the novel is more geared toward 13-16 years-old to be honest.

I must tell you that it took me a while to read the book. I literally forced myself to continue the reading many times as I was disgusted by the cruelty of the aunties and the events surrounding Zac’s life. But I persevere because I had the feeling that somehow the message will become clear. And just like a blue sky on a summer day, about at three-quarter of the novel, I understood what the author was trying to do. And to be honest, I am quite impressed with his imagination.

When you stop and think about the message the author is trying to pass to the younger generation, you can see good vs evil, the enemy, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as well as a beautiful message of trust.

I still find the book too dark for a nine year old but perfect for a youth. It has some magic and fantasy in the air and also contains some lessons on climate change. Although sometimes I wonder if climate change doesn’t happens as a cycle at times, it is a good reminder that consequences are a by-product of making decision.

Want to have an idea of what the book is all about? Watch this little movie.


This review was possible because I received a copy of The Blue Umbrella from David C Cook.

The Blue Umbrella is available everywhere even at and

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe I haven't watched the video before reading the book! Or I think I did but I don't quite remember. :)

    Anyway, I enjoyed reading your review. Creepy book? Haha! It was a little boring for me but I managed to enjoy it for a while thanks to the eclectic mix of characters. I loved them! And the aunties were so horrible.

    Here's my review of this book. Thanks!