The Girl Who Saved Christmas
The Girl Who Saved Christmas
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Annotation: Amelia Wishart's Christmas spirit helped Santa get the extra boost of magic he needed to make his first trip around the world. When she's sent to the workhouse, now-orphaned Amelia's hope begins to drain away. Santa sets out to find her with the help of his reindeer, a curious cat, and Charles Dickens.
Catalog Number: #148755
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2016
Illustrator: Mould, Chris,
Pages: 315 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-524-70044-4
ISBN 13: 978-1-524-70044-7
Dewey: Fic
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
The holiday adventures continue in this companion to A Boy Called Christmas (2016), which relays Nikolas' life in Elfhelm, where he has embraced his role as Father Christmas as well as that of young chimney-sweep Amelia Wishart. Though their fates are entwined, catastrophe litters their paths to each other. For Nikolas, Christmas spirit is running low worldwide, and trolls are rampaging through the North Pole. Such serious obstacles might be enough to ace yourselves ncel Christmas. Meanwhile, newly orphaned Amelia has found herself imprisoned in cruel Mr. Creeper's workhouse, with little chance of escape. Once a child with incredible Christmas spirit, her grim circumstances have dampened her capacity for hope. Sensing trouble, Father Christmas knows he must rescue Amelia and rekindle her belief in him if his cherished holiday is to be saved. Haig keeps the magic of Christmas alive in this charming, action-packed story. Black-ink illustrations add to the writing's humor, while memorable characters and a loyal cat further extend the story's pull. A lively, bighearted choice for those holiday displays.
Kirkus Reviews
Orphaned chimney sweep Amelia loses everything, including hope, leaving Christmas in dire jeopardy. This companion to A Boy Called Christmas (2016) is written in the same jolly tone and similarly decorated with waggish illustrations. Eight-year-old Amelia, who once brimmed with hope, was the very first child to receive a present from Father Christmas. But because trolls destroyed the sleigh, the only thing Amelia received last Christmas was to be tossed into a workhouse run by the odious Mr. Creeper. Now starved and worked relentlessly, Amelia has run out of hope, the essential fuel for the magic of Christmas, and consequently Father Christmas can hardly get the sleigh off the ground or stop time long enough to get presents delivered to all the children of the world. It becomes Father Christmas' mission to find Amelia amid the peculiar streets and humanity of London. This tale is classically atmospheric; in fact, Charles Dickens himself makes some very important appearances. With an abundance of chortleworthy silliness ("Vixen bit Comet's ear for sniffing her bottom"), supreme wisdom is bestowed: trolls aren't very smart, but they don't hate Father Christmas; Flying Story Pixies will do anything for wonderful new words; and most importantly, hope is born in the simple act of kindness. The human cast appears to be an all-white one. With a little bit of naughty and a lot of nice, this Christmastime yarn is a veritable sugarplum. (Fantasy. 6-13)
School Library Journal
Gr 46Eight-year-old Amelia toils as a destitute chimney sweep in 1840's London, desperately hoping for a miracle that can heal her sick mother and save her family. It turns out that magic and hope alone are what makes Christmas happen, and Amelia's unconditional belief empowers Father Christmas enough to perform his first Christmas. Two years later, Father Christmas's kingdom has been destroyed by giant trolls and the orphaned Amelia is a prisoner in a horrible workhouse. She no longer believes in magicwithout her, Father Christmas cannot continue, so he loads his sleigh and heads off to London to find her. The story is fast-paced and playful, peopled with interesting characters and unique details such as the "Barometer of Hope" and the invention of the "Tell-Elf-Home," but what sets this story apart are the genuine emotions exhibited by allloss, fear, sadness, and, ultimately, love. VERDICT An inventive Christmas-themed origin tale that is a pure holiday treat.Sada Mozer, Los Angeles Public Library
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (11/1/17)
John Steptoe New Talent Award
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (10/1/17)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 46,270
Reading Level: 4.6
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.6 / points: 7.0 / quiz: 192631 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 640L
Guided Reading Level: S
Fountas & Pinnell: S

Do you know how magic works?

 

The kind of magic that gets reindeer to fly in the sky? The kind that helps Father Christmas travel around the world in a single night? The kind that can stop time and make dreams come true?

 

Hope.

 

That's how.

 

Without hope, there would be no magic.

 

It isn't Father Christmas or Blitzen or any of the other reindeer that make magic happen on the night before Christmas.

 

It's every child who wants and wishes for it to happen. If no one wished for magic to happen, there would be no magic. And because we know Father Christmas comes every year, we know now that magic--at least some kind of magic--is real.

 

But this wasn't always the case. There was once a time before stockings and Christmas mornings spent excitedly ripping off wrapping paper. It was quite a miserable time, when very few human children had any reason to believe in magic at all.

 

And so, the very first night that Father Christmas ever decided to give human children a reason to be happy and to believe in magic, he had a lot of work to do.

 

The toys were in his sack, the sleigh and reindeer were ready, but as he flew out of Elfhelm, he knew there wasn't enough magic in the air. He traveled through the northern lights, but they were hardly glowing at all. And the reason for the low magic levels was that there wasn't much hoping going on. After all, how does a child hope for magic to happen if they've never seen it?

 

So that very first visit from Father Christmas nearly didn't come. And that it did happen is thanks to one thing. A single human child. A girl, in London, who believed in magic totally. Who hoped and hoped for a miracle every single day. She was the child who believed in Father Christmas before anyone else. And she was the one who helped Father Christmas, just as his reindeer were starting to struggle, because the amount she hoped, while she was lying in bed that Christmas Eve, added light to the sky. It gave Father Christmas a purpose. A direction. And he followed a thin trace of light all the way to her home, at 99 Haberdashery Road, in London.

 

And once that was done, once he had placed a full stocking of toys at the foot of her bug-ridden bed, the hope grew. Magic was there, in the world, and it spread among the dreams of all children. But Father Christmas couldn't fool himself. Without that one child, that eight-year-old girl called Amelia Wishart, hoping so hard for magic to be real, Christmas would never have happened. Yes, it took elves and reindeer and the workshop and all of that, but she was the one who saved it. The dream of magic.

 

She was the first child.

 

The girl who saved Christmas.

 

And Father Christmas would never forget it. . . .



Excerpted from The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

"If somewhere in the afterlife Roald Dahl met Charles Dickens and they cooked up a new Christmas tale, it couldn't have much on this fleet, verbally rambunctious, heart-stealing follow-up to A Boy Called Christmas."-- The New York Times

Fans of A Boy Called Christmas will rejoice at this whimsical story of the first child to ever be gifted a Christmas present!

Amelia Wishart was the first child ever to receive a Christmas present. It was her Christmas spirit that gave Santa the extra boost of magic he needed to make his first trip around the world. But now Amelia is in trouble.

When her mother falls ill, she is sent to the workhouse to toil under cruel Mr. Creeper. For a whole year, Amelia scrubs the floors and eats watery gruel, without a whiff of kindness to keep her going. It's not long before her hope begins to drain away.

Meanwhile, up at the North Pole, magic levels dip dangerously low as Christmas approaches, and Santa knows that something is gravely wrong. With the help of his trusty reindeer, a curious cat, and Charles Dickens, he sets out to find Amelia, the only girl who might be able to save Christmas. But first Amelia must learn to believe again. . . .

"Matt Haig has an empathy for the human condition, the light and the dark of it, and he uses the full palette to build his excellent stories." --Neil Gaiman, Newbery-winning author of The Graveyard Book

"With a little bit of naughty and a lot of nice,this Christmastime yarn is a veritable sugarplum." --Kirkus Reviews


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