Today is my stop on the book tour for The Umbrella Maker’s Son by Katrina Leno. This is a middle grade fantasy novel that is really fun. The tour was organized by TBR & Beyond Tours, thanks for allowing me to participate.
I received this book for free from Little Brown to facilitate my review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Little Brown on 06/27/2023
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / Family / Parents, Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy & Magic, Juvenile Fiction / Science & Nature / Weather, Juvenile Fiction / Social Themes / Friendship
Source: Little Brown
Amazon US // Barnes & Noble // IndieBound
From a critically acclaimed author comes a fantastical middle grade novel about a boy determined to prove there’s more than just the weather behind his rainy town.
Oscar Buckle lives in a city where it’s always raining. And when it isn’t raining, it’s about to rain, so the townspeople have learned to embrace it. Oscar’s father is an umbrella maker—appropriate for a place where you can’t leave home without one!—but while Buckle Umbrellas are strong, reliable, and high quality, they’re expensive . Because of this, people are buying from the competitor instead, which is threatening Oscar’s family’s business.
To make ends meet, Oscar is forced to quit school and work in his father’s shop as an apprentice. But when extraordinary events start to occur in their rainy town, Oscar becomes suspicious of their competitor. Desperate to save his town, Oscar must enlist the help of his best friend, Saige, to discover if there’s more than nature involved in their city’s weather.
Content Warning: Grief, loss of a parent
Ok, I’m not always a fan of middle grade books but I liked the synopsis and decided to give it a chance. This is a really cute book!
We open with a really bad storm, but we’ve gotten ahead of ourselves, so we’ll have to backtrack a bit. And that’s OK. Sometimes that irritates me in books, but this time, I really liked it.
I enjoyed Saige and Oscar. They were a great team and I just thought that it was great to reinforce that boys and girls can be friends, best friends even, and not have to have romantic feelings for one another. They just worked as a team and I loved how Saige was in a wheelchair, but it wasn’t that big of a deal.
The concept of the story was really great and it was a lot of fun. A glossary at the back of the book helpfully explains the different types of rain, different foods, and different places found in the book. However, there are also footnotes when these things first appear and to give little extra notes about things.
I loved the ending – it left room for a sequel1Which I’m sincerely hoping there is one, because I will be reading it while being sufficient for a standalone novel.
I gave this 4.5 stars and I highly recommend it for not just middle grade readers but for any reader who is at least reading at middle grade level.