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The Blue Umbrella: A Novel

The Blue Umbrella: A Novel

4.0 18
by Mike Mason

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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 seem determined to make his life miserable. Before long Zac realizes something really strange is going on: Five Corners is populated with many interesting characters—a dwarf butler,


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 seem determined to make his life miserable. Before long Zac realizes something really strange is going on: Five Corners is populated with many interesting characters—a dwarf butler, a girl who doesn’t speak, a blind balloon seller, and a mysterious singer he can hear but not see. 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 lacking from his dismal life. But Sky isn’t what he seems either, and when Zac learns Sky’s secret, he realizes, to his dismay, that this wonderful man may have a very dark side after all.

When Zac discovers that the secret behind Dada and the strangeness of Five Corners, he 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. But can Zac trust him?


Product Details

David C Cook
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
9 - 13 Years


Meet the Author

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.

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The Blue Umbrella 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very exciting. I loved every word of it. In the beginning it was a little slow and boring, but after the first couple of chapters it was a book i couldn't put down. I would definitely recommend this book. Please do yourself the favor of reading this!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Very easy to read, and kept me guessing. Very imaginative.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Janna6 More than 1 year ago
I heard someone compare this book to C.S. Lewis' Narnia books, J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books and even Madeline L'Engle's sci-fi books. I'm not quite sure where those comparisons came from, for one thing, talk about setting the bar pretty high! For another, I didn't sense a similarity between The Blue Umbrella and any of those books, what I did sense was more of a Lemony Snickets or a Charlie and The Chocolate Factory vibe (the new version with the creepy Johnny Depp and the really peculiar short man that appeared everywhere). There is definitely an audience for this book. In fact, in the 9-12 age group this book has blockbuster potential. It was not written for me and I had trouble getting through the first part, it was pretty depressing actually. Zac's mother dies getting struck by lightning, he has no one else except his creepy Aunties from Five Corners. He has to go live with them and things just get stranger. A short man named Butler lives there with them and the Aunties are cruel. Really cruel. You just feel sorry for Zac. Then he meets Dada and you really feel sorry for him. Dada wants Zac to steal Mr. Porter's blue umbrella. Mr. Porter runs the general store. Zac starts working for him after school but Mr. Porter is the one nice person in his life at this time and he just can't get himself to take the umbrella. Things are not as they seem with Mr. Porter and Zac starts discovering some very weird things happening in Five Corners - the weather, the Barber, Chelsea who doesn't talk, Ches who only talks about the weather... By the end I was curious how everything was going to turn out and I can really see fans of books like Lemony Snickets loving this book. For that group of readers I highly recommend this book.
Scissortail More than 1 year ago
What's a boy to think about the kind, gentle man across the street when he finds out that that man controls the weather -- including the lightning bolt that killed the boy's mother? How do you balance free will and destiny? How do you balance a good and loving God with evil in the world? These are the questions raised by Mike Mason in his book The Blue Umbrella.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have to read this book and 'the violet flash' its great!!!!! ;))
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ToriOK More than 1 year ago
It might have been written for teeny-boppers, but I couldn't make myself finish it. The more I red the less I liked it. I don't know it I will ever open it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is possibly the best book I have ever read. It had an air of mystery and horror, but all the while there is a comfortable feeling. I couldn't put it down. There are true villans and a wonderful message! Read it! You will be glad you did!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Ten years old Zac Sparks has lived with his single mom on a golf course all his life. He loves his mom who raises him with love. Zac's mother dies when she walks the course at night and is struck by a single bolt of lightning. Zac's two aunts whom he never met attend the funeral. The Aunties inform him he will live with them in Five Corners, but the moment everyone leaves the trio alone, they turn from friendly to nasty. Not allowed to take anything with him except the clothing he is wearing, at Five Corners, the Aunties are even more abusive to a stunned Zac, who they call Boy and hammer him with canes when they do not lock him in his room for anything and everything. He meets Dada who claims to be the Aunties' father; Dada demands he steals the blue umbrella from Mr. Sky Porter who runs the general store where Zac works after school or else. Zac refuses to steal the umbrella because Mr. Porter is the only nice and seemingly sane person in Five Corners. His relatives are nasty and others he meets are weird, but he is only beginning to learn that Five Corners is the focus for eerie strangeness This is an exhilarating unusual middle school fantasy starring a tweener who has the weight of the world collapsing on him when his mom dies. Filled with vivid descriptions starting with extremely tall but extremely thin Auntie and the extremely fat but extremely short other Auntie and never slows down as Zac goes form nurturing maternal love to abuse. Fans will want to join him as he deals with his Aunties, Dada, Butler and others, but especially when though frightened to being almost paralyzed he bravely goes up the staircase to who knows where. This is an inspiration winner with an allegorical nod to biblical Job. Harriet Klausner
LovenGod More than 1 year ago
The Blue Umbrella A Novel Mike Mason 2009 David C Cook Juvenile Fiction/Fantasy Reviewed by Cindy Loven Have you ever read Job 38? I had, but it had not caught my attention until I read this book, it is lovely scripture, poetical even, questions that God asked Job. Questions about the weather. And that was the preface of this book. Poor Zachary Sparks, his father died when he was but a young toddler, and now he is an orphan at ten years old. His mother gone, in an instant, struck by lightning as she walked on the golf course near their home. What is going to happen to Zac? Hang on to your seats and fasten your seat belts for the story to come of what become of Zac is a wild ride!! Two ancient Aunties, sweep down and take Zac home with them, and the first thing he realizes, is they did not allow him to bring any of his things, even his clothing. The second scary thing is, they refuse to call him by his name, he is called Boy. The third thing he realizes, is he is not in a loving home, they lock him in his room, they beat him with a cane and they are evil and cruel old women. Five Corners, the town the Aunties live in, is a very strange town indeed, as if there is a horrible secret, that all the townspeople are keeping. There is!! A secret so wild, that Zac is having a hard time believing it. Strange lights over the store across the street fascinate him, and begin the downward spiral. Drawn like a moth is drawn to light, Zac is caught trying to investigate, and nearly beaten by the aunties, because they think he is trying to steal a fur coat and run away. A visit to Dada, the even more ancient father of the Aunties, is a horrifying experience that lives Zac physically ill. Told by the old man, that he must steal a blue umbrella owned by the store across the streets, proprietor, Zac begins to learn he is in the middle of a nightmarish reality. Little old people the size of children, strange vendors who do not speak, but you can hear them talking in your mind. Yes life is strange at Five Corners. This book will keep you enthralled, it is not your typical fantasy book, it is a book full of imagination and it is a story most definitely to read with your children. The book ends with an author interview and discussion questions with Mike Mason. A four star rating is well deserved of this book. 425 pages US $14.99