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Summary: It is the week before Christmas, 1920, in the little mining town of Benham, Kentucky. Mama and Papa Cole and their 9 children are getting excited about the decorations, presents, and special holiday treats. This is a heart-warming story that will be read by children and adults for many Christmases to come. This is a lightly illustrated chapter book story set in Appalachia.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, illustrated chapter, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 12; read yourself:10 and up
Interest Level: 7 to 12
Reading Level: 5.2
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: The author has realistically captured the Cole Family celebrating Christmas, and in doing so she has added a poignant and wonderful story to Christmas literature. This is a wholesome and rich story that focuses on the true meaning of Christmas. The illustrations are extraordinary and create a warm and positive visual backdrop for the story.
Pros: This is a holiday story that everyone will enjoy now and for many years to come.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. If you liked the Waltons, you will really enjoy this story.
Educational Themes: This is a wholesome and poignant Christmas story which focuses entirely on the real meaning of Christmas. A parent or teacher can use the story to help the reader understand that there is more to Christmas than the latest high tech computer game.
Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 5.2 The Reading Tub. Inc. is reviewing an advance reader edition. A portion of the proceeds of this book go to the Berea College Appalachian Fund.
Literary Categories: Fiction - Christmas, cultures and tradition, middle grade, 1920s, family