Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff (same author as The Thing About Georgie, another great book)
Let the vacation reading begin! A favorite from my reading pile so far, Umbrella Summer had me hooked from the beginning. Annie’s brother Jared died in a sudden and rather freakish accident involving a hockey puck, and her way of coping is to become extremely (and I mean extremely!) careful about everything in life. From constantly thinking she has some sort of rare tropical disease to not riding her bike down hills, Annie is not living life to the fullest anymore. Along her journey as a character, she meets an unlikely friend who helps her heal and deal with both death and life. This would be a wonderful character change readaloud for older grades, but for those of you out there that love a deep realistic fiction that makes you cry (but good tears mixed in with the painful ones), this book is for you.
And just wait until you find out the meaning of the ‘umbrella summer.’