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|Boy called Christmas|
Author: Haig, Matt
Nikolas, the boy who would one day be known as Santa Claus, goes on a life-changing quest to the North Pole.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 185620
Kirkus Reviews (+) (09/01/16)
School Library Journal (10/01/16)
The Hornbook (00/11/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2016 Gr 3–6—This lively British import recounts the adventures of young Nicholas, who will grow up to become Father Christmas, otherwise known as Santa Claus to American children. Born on Christmas Day, Nicholas leads a life of hardship in a remote, ramshackle cabin with his good-hearted father. When his father goes in search of Elfhelm (and a chance at a great monetary reward), Nicholas is left alone with his cruel aunt Carlotta. After enduring abuse and neglect, the boy sets off on his own to find his father and the mythical land of the elves. The fairy-tale atmosphere aptly sets the stage for magic and mischief, including flying reindeer, exploding trolls, a truth pixie, and a trusty mouse companion. Nicholas eventually changes the course of Elfhelm history, saving it from a regime of unhappiness, and ultimately discovers his true calling as a giver of gifts. Mould's quirky yet charming black-and-white drawings are a perfect complement to the sometimes snarky text. VERDICT There's plenty to please fans of Roald Dahl, Lemony Snicket, and Adam Gidwitz: offbeat humor with the ultimate satisfaction of overcoming the impossible, helping humanity, and achieving one's dreams. A popular choice for Christmas or year round.—Madeline Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 11/01/2016 Readers will be enchanted by Haig’s origin story for one of Christmas’ most iconic figures, Santa Claus (so named by the pixies!). It all begins in the middle of nowhere in Norway with Nikolas and his woodcutter father. Times are tough for the pair, who have little money and subsist mainly on mushroom soup, but Nikolas tries his best to be happy. One night, the woodcutter is asked to join an expedition to the fabled village of Elfhelm in the Far North, which, if successful, will pay handsomely. Unable to refuse such an offer, he accepts, leaving Nikolas behind. After months pass, Nikolas sets out to find his missing father, uncovering his own true purpose in life and the magic of belief and goodwill. Sidestepping religion, Haig’s story perfectly captures the spirit of Christmas, and Mould’s scratchy ink-pen illustrations bring charm and humor to the page. Misguided elves, a mouse that unflaggingly believes in the existence of cheese, and flying reindeer (naturally) all unite under one boy’s faith in the impossible. A heartwarming holiday adventure. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.