An Umbrella For Alex is a story about a boy who whose mother suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder. The story is told from young Alex’s point of view. In the story, Alex explains what it’s like to have a mother with BPD. He describes her unpredictable mood swings like the weather. He says it can often be “stormy” or “cloudy”. Alex calls his father an “umbrella” because he helps him feel better about his mother’s disorder. Alex’s dad helps him cope by explaining to him that none of what his mom is going through is his fault. Therefore, showing that Alex has a positive outlook on the situation, even though, he does admit that it is hard and confusing. In the end, young Alex says that it’s good to have someone to talk to and people who care and understand. He has his father, friends, that he plays with, including one that has a father who also has unpredictable moods, and a therapist named Dr. Gillman.
Overall, I thought An Umbrella For Alex was smart and educational. It explained what it’s like to have a parent that suffers with BPD from a child’s point of view. It was very clear, and it was written in a way to make the reader think. It asked questions so that readers can try to relate as they read about Alex’s journey to understanding and coping with his situation at home. I think this story is brilliant because not only can children get something from it, but adults can as well. It can be used as an educational tool for parents to explain BPD to their children. An Umbrella for Alex is a refreshing read because it doesn’t make BPD sufferers seem hopeless and hard to understand. It sheds light on the topic of personality disorders with a positive message that we can be our own umbrellas and be umbrellas for others.