25 Reads of Xmas #14

Every day in December leading up to Christmas we’ll be reading a book to enjoy the season. Join us as we enjoy seasonal reads that are perfect to celebrate the holidays!

Christmas is fairly big in Greentree. Scratch that, Christmas in Greentree isn’t fairly big; it’s downright humongous. But even with all of the carols, lights, and holiday treats floating around, the last thing Nick Dashaway is thinking about involves the holiday season. Instead, he’s more concerned about his life, which is in desparate need of a jumpstart. If he’s ever going to get out of loserville, Nick’s got to get the attention of every kid at Greentree Middle School – and the upcoming talent show seems just like the right time to do it. He’s been practicing, but when the big moment comes the only thing he can do is take a deep breath and make a wish. Too bad Nick hasn’t been paying attention to the Christmas stories. Wishes are powerful in Greentree – and Christmas wishes are even more so.

Colorful, clever, and laugh-out-loud hilarious, Five Days of Famous is a unique Christmas tale that will entertain the whole holiday through.

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Holiday Reading

Just as a quick aside from our 25 Reads of Xmas series, today I’m posting a list of all the books we read from last holiday season. These Christmas picks are perfect for younger readers who aren’t ready to challenge the bigger books of 25 Reads of Xmas, so if you’re looking for some reading you can do with all of your littles, I advise checking out this list of reviews!

The Christmas HatTis the Season Day 1

If You Take a Mouse to the MoviesTis the Season Day 2

Missile ToeTis the Season Day 3

The Biggest Smallest Christmas PresentTis the Season Day 4

The Day Santa Stopped Believing in HaroldTis the Season Day 5

The Christmas Tale of Peter RabbitTis the Season Day 6

Mrs. Claus Takes a VacationTis the Season Day 7

Welcome ComfortTis the Season Day 8

Norman Rockwell’s Deck the HallsTis the Season Day 9

Captain Bling’s Christmas PlunderTis the Season Day 10

The Twelve Sleighs of ChristmasTis the Season Day 11

Samurai SantaTis the Season Day 12

The All-I’ll-Ever-Want-for-ChristmasTis the Season Day 13

Christmas in the MorningTis the Season Day 14

The Nutcracker in AmericaTis the Season Day 15

The Christmas Coal ManTis the Season Day 16

Rocking Horse ChristmasTis the Season Day 17

The Third GiftTis the Season Day 18

Rudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerTis the Season Day 19

Rudolph Shines AgainTis the Season Day 20

The Legend of Papa NoelTis the Season Day 21

How Santa Lost His JobTis the Season Day 22

The Christmas ThingamajigTis the Season Day 23

My Penguin OsbertTis the Season Day 24

Twas the Day Before ChristmasTis the Season Day 25

Tell me in the comments about all the fun that you and your younger kids have/had reading through these and other wonderful Christmas books!

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25 Reads of Xmas #13

Every day in December leading up to Christmas we’ll be reading a book to enjoy the season. Join us as we enjoy seasonal reads that are perfect to celebrate the holidays!

Ballet fans will flock to this entertaining tale that introduces a new sort of Nutcracker tale.

All Georgie wants is for her and her best friend Kaitlyn to become the next Claras in their local production of the Nutcracker. When the final audition comes up, Georgie is prepared to dance her best with Mrs. Cavanaugh’s precious nutcracker. What she discovers instead is a magical world where the nutcracker isn’t just a simple ballet, but is instead a fantastic reality and the further into December practices she gets, the more the magical world keeps invading her normal life. Georgie finds herself transported to the enchanted land more and more. The nutcracker story is real and it’s invading not only her life, but also the lives of her friends and everyone around her. If Georgie, her BFF Kaitlyn, and new friend Noah don’t do something fast the Nutcracker ballet and regular life might be ruined forever.

Susan Adrian weaves a brilliant narrative that sparkles with creativity and life.  It’s an entertaining read that begs to be read over and over. Ballerina nuts will get a kick out of this tale and Nutcracker fans will find themselves enthralled by this imaginative take on a classic. I highly recommend you pick up Nutcracked for a wonderful time!

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25 Reads of Xmas #12

Every day in December leading up to Christmas we’ll be reading a book to enjoy the season. Join us as we enjoy seasonal reads that are perfect to celebrate the holidays!

If you’ve ever wondered where some of the greatest holiday traditions come from, Ace Collins’ insightful read will provide an entertaining look into some of the things most integral to Christmas. Why are poinsettias an integral part of the holiday? Why do we kiss under mistletoe? What is the significance of the colors red and green? With precise language and a sharp-witted eye, Ace Collins explores the impact Judeo-Christian values have had on our version of Christmas as well as how the holiday’s evolved from its previous incarnations.

Great for scholars of all kinds or just those who are looking to win a couple rounds of Christmas jeopardy, Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas is a must read.

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Lock and Key: The Final Step

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you a very special book review, brought to you by the generous folks at Harper Collins.

You all may remember that I am slightly enamored with Ridley Pearson’s writing. Time and time again, Pearson has proved that he is adept at crafting unique stories with interesting twists.

In the final installation of the Lock and Key series, we pick up a few months after the end of Downward Spiral. Moria and James are still wrapped up in the mystery that they were first plunged into in The Intitiation. The plot begins immediately, plunging us deep into mystery with the death of a significant figure in the Moriarty’s siblings lives. During a rather perilous game of Capture the Flag, James and former friend Lexie come across a dying confidante from the Brotherhood of Scowerers. Forced to work together, James and Lexie will have to investigate who is the murderer, even as Moria struggles to penetrate her brother’s mysterious shroud to discover more about their family secrets. This thrilling conclusion draws all old friends, like Sherlock, and new friends, like Lexie, into the ever-tightening spiral of peril as the Moriarty siblings must face their destiny and past all at once – leaving only one question left: what really happened to James Keynan Moriarty?

You guys, I just cannot explain how fast I went through this book. When cracking the covers of Initiation, I was super eager. Given the fact that I tore through the last two, I could not wait to read this.

So.

You may be wondering what I thought? The results of my deep and extensive read-through? This book blew my mind. I did not expect the series to take this turn at all (no spoilers though!) The storyline is fresh, it’s exciting, and the pacing really drives home, although that may just have to do with the fact that I was so eager to read. The characters with the most development in this novel are James and Lexie, with Moria taking more of a backseat as the main character and instead stepping into the place of narrator. Honestly, if I had a single criticism, it’s that I didn’t get enough time with Sherlock and Moria, who have quickly become some of my favorite literary characters, especially when playing off of each other of James. Still, this was an excellent, excellent read.

A huge thanks should go to Harper Collins, as they were not only gracious enough to send me The Final Step, but also sent me the first two books along with a spy kit. I was so grateful to receive this entire package and I cannot tell you how much fun it was to look through all of these items. If you’re struggling to find anything for your kids this holiday season, you might want to take a look at picking up this series and a spy kit just like this one. It’s definitely a great series to read through no matter when you pick it up and I highly recommend you pick it up!

(Oh, and Ridley Pearson, if you’re reading this…more please!)

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25 Reads of Xmas #11

Every day in December leading up to Christmas we’ll be reading a book to enjoy the season. Join us as we enjoy seasonal reads that are perfect to celebrate the holidays!

Looking for a heartwarming book? This sweet and simple read is written by the Newberry Medal winner of Sarah, Plain and Tall.

Lily and Liam cannot wait to get to their grandparents’ farm where they can read to their hearts’ content and enjoy the holiday together. Lily is especially looking forward to the holiday and all the traditions that go with it. But when Liam finds out that their grandparents’ sow isn’t doing well, he’s determined to make White Cow feel better. Lily hates the fact that her brother’s ruining Christmas, but she realizes the longer she stays, the worse White Cow gets. There’s no denying the fact that White Cow needs a cure soon. The only problem is finding one before Christmas and their return home!

Patricia MachLachlan spins a delightful tale that is at turns charming and heartwarming. It’s a Christmas story that will inspire generosity and kindness this holiday season.

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25 Reads of Xmas #10

Every day in December leading up to Christmas we’ll be reading a book to enjoy the season. Join us as we enjoy seasonal reads that are perfect to celebrate the holidays!

If you’re looking for a short and humorous read this Christmas season, I’d advise picking up this book by Anne Fine

Ralph can’t wait for the holidays to be over and he’s not the only one. Christmas has never been quite this stressful and that’s saying a lot. With all of their family over for the holidays, Mom’s working really hard to feed everyone, Dad and Uncle Tristram are making trouble, and Ralph’s just trying to avoid having to do a lot of hard work. After all, he deserves a vacation too, doesn’t he? Plus, having to endure his annoying cousin Titania, irritating aunts and uncles, and his viciously grumpy great-granny has got to count for some kind of work. With all of the crazy Ralph’s got to endure this holiday, he’ll be lucky if he survives this Christmas!

This book is sweet and to the point while providing a little bit of levity during the mad holiday rush. Parents will enjoy this read as will their children and it’s even more fun to flip through together.

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25 Reads of Xmas #9

Every day in December leading up to Christmas we’ll be reading a book to enjoy the season. Join us as we enjoy seasonal reads that are perfect to celebrate the holidays!

Today’s read is by an author I’m sure many of you have heard of: Cornelia Funke.

Niklas Goodfellow is Santa Claus…kind of. Well, he’s a Santa of a sort. He mingles with angels, is assisted by elves he keeps in a special chest, and he does have a white beard, albeit one that is fake. When he comes to his next destination, local resident Ben is amazed by Niklas. He enjoys visiting the caravan, until the mousy Charlotte shows up. They may not be good friends, if they are friends at all, but Ben and Charlotte will have to join forces to stop the ruthless hunter Gerold Geronimus Goblynch, whose only goal is to stop Niklas and Christmas itself.  Together, Santa, Charlotte, Ben, the angels, elves, and Lightning the reindeer must stop their enemy or risk losing the holiday all together!

With her usual wit, charm, and humor, Cornelia Funke pieces together a unique Christmas story that manages to capture the spirit of childhood, Christmas, and adventure all in one. I recommend this read this holiday season!

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25 Reads of Xmas #8

Every day in December leading up to Christmas we’ll be reading a book to enjoy the season. Join us as we enjoy seasonal reads that are perfect to celebrate the holidays!

If you’re a fan of the Polar Express film, here’s a novelized version that you can enjoy this holiday season.

Trip to the North Pole is inspired by both the Chris Van Allsburg illustrated book and the film. Its primary source is the latter, which can definitely be seen in this finished product. It follows the same path as the animated film and is told pretty well. It’s a basic read that can be enjoyed by almost anyone who really likes the film or the original picture book. There are also plenty of pictures in the middle from the film, so if you’re in need of a visual refresher, it’s right there for you to enjoy.

This is a pretty basic read re-written by Ellen Weiss from the film, but it’s really enjoyable to page through. Kids can read this without a lot of help needed, so it’s a pretty simple read for children too. Check it out this holiday season.

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25 Reads of Xmas #7

Every day in December leading up to Christmas we’ll be reading a book to enjoy the season. Join us as we enjoy seasonal reads that are perfect to celebrate the holidays!

If you enjoyed Matt Haig’s first Christmas adventure, detailing the rise of Santa Claus as we know him, you’ll enjoy this follow-up read that details the beginnings of his trips around the world.

Father Christmas has everything under hand. He’s got his red suit made just right and the elves are working hard. But something is not just right. Darkness lurks at the North Pole and it grows by day. Meanwhile, the girl who first made Christmas what it is has fallen prey to hard times. She’s losing hope in the magic she once believed in and if Father Christmas is to save the holiday, he’s going to have save Amelia as well, before it’s too late!

Like the previous novel, Matt Haig does an excellent job of creating an original Christmas story that also fills out Santa Claus lore. Kids will enjoy it for the quirky illustrations, rollicking adventure, and entertaining storyline. I advise checking it out this holiday season!

 

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