Monday, December 26, 2016

A BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS by Matt Haig / Book Review #MMGM

By: Matt Haig
Illustrated by: Chris Mould 
Published by: Knopf
Released on: November 1st, 2016
Ages: 8 & up
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository 
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A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Before there was Santa Claus, there was a young boy who believed in the impossible. . . . Lemony Snicket meets Elf in this warmhearted Christmas caper.

Eleven-year-old Nikolas—nicknamed “Christmas”—has received only one toy in his life: a doll carved out of a turnip. But he’s happy with his turnip doll, because it came from his parents, who love him. Then one day his father goes missing, and Nikolas must travel to the North Pole to save him.

Along the way, Nikolas befriends a surly reindeer, bests a troublesome troll, and discovers a hidden world of enchantment in the frozen village of Elfhelm. But the elves of Elfhelm have troubles of their own: Christmas spirit and goodwill are at an all-time low, and Nikolas may be the only person who can fix things—if only he can reach his father before it’s too late. . . .

Sparkling with wit and warmth, A Boy Called Christmas is a cheeky new Christmas classic-in-the-making from acclaimed author Matt Haig and illustrator Chris Mould.

This is a read fans of all ages will enjoy. With it's Lemony Snicket feel, Haig has created something that is unforgettable. 
There's humor, plenty of adventure, magic, trolls, elves, Blitzen, a mouse, a few not so nice characters, and an unforgettable character who will have you cheering him the entire story. 

The story of A Boy Called Christmas isn't the Santa you're excepting. No, this is the story of a boy who's been mis-treated, but never loses his kindness, his hope, and his will to do good. These attributes not only stay with him all through out his life. It's part of what makes him St. Nick, aka Santa Claus. They also save his life, and that is what this story is about. 

This story is about a boy who discovers his inner strength, finds his home, and discovers his own destiny. He realizes he's more determined and courageous than he ever imagined when he sets off to find his dad. Along the way he meets Blitzen, runs into a bit of trouble with trolls, and then there are the not too friendly elves. Nothing is as you think it is in this story, but the story's ending is just as it should be. 

Haig's writing is brilliant. His story's narration immediately pulls you in, and makes you feel like the story is being told just for you. It's like a Christmas secret, only this is one secret you want everyone to read. He has created a story that is not only for kids, but for kids at heart. Haig really gets his middle grade audience. I love the humor that is just right for both kids, and adults. This is a great story to read out loud. 

This is definitely a new Christmas classic that will be enjoyed for generations to come! Whether you read during the holiday season or a later time in the year, this is a book I'd recommend picking up. 

Favorite Quotes:

"An impossibility is just a possibility you don't understand yet."

"Where there is magic, there is always a way."

"If you keep on climbing a mountain, you will eventually reach the top. That's the thing with mountains. However big they are, there is always a top."

"There IS magic in this world." 

Please note that there are a few things within the story that may be hard for some readers. There's mistreatment towards Nikolas, a father who lets down his son because of his bad choices, and a reindeer who may not always be the sweetest reindeer you'd envision.
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~