A Boy Called Christmas
A Boy Called Christmas
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Annotation: Nikolas, the boy who would one day be known as Santa Claus, goes on a life-changing quest to the North Pole.
Genre: [Fantasy fiction]
Catalog Number: #174958
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
Publisher: Random House
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Mould, Chris,
Pages: 234 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-399-55268-5 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-3744-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-399-55268-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-3744-9
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2015043442
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
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.
School Library Journal
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
Word Count: 36,531
Reading Level: 4.4
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.4 / points: 5.0 / quiz: 185620 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 650L
Guided Reading Level: S
Fountas & Pinnell: S

You are about to read the true story of Father Christmas.


Yes. Father Christmas.


You may wonder how I know the true story of Father Christmas, and I will tell you that you shouldn't really question such things. Not right at the start of a book. It's rude, for one thing. All you need to understand is that I do know the story of Father Christmas, or else why would I be writing it?


Maybe you don't call him Father Christmas.


Maybe you call him something else.


Santa or Saint Nick or Santa Claus or Sinterklaas or Kris Kringle or Pelznickel or Papa Noel or Strange Man with a Big Belly Who Talks to Reindeer and Gives Me Presents. Or maybe you have a name you've come up with yourself, just for fun. If you were an elf, though, you would always call him Father Christmas. It was the pixies who started calling him Santa Claus, and spread the word, just to confuse things, in their mischievous way.


But whatever you happen to call him, you know about him, and that's the main thing.


Can you believe there was a time when no one in the world knew about him? A time when he was just an ordinary boy called Nikolas, living in the middle of nowhere, or the middle of Finland, doing nothing with magic except believing in it? A boy who knew very little about the world except the taste of mushroom soup, the feel of a cold north wind, and the stories he was told. And who only had a doll made out of a turnip to play with.


But life was going to change for Nikolas, in ways he could never have imagined. Things were going to happen to him.


Good things.


Bad things.


But if you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. It is most certainly not for you.


Because this book is full of impossible things.


Are you still reading the book?


Good. (Elves would be proud.)


Then let us begin . . .

Excerpted from A Boy Called 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.

Before there was Santa Claus, there was a young boy who believed in the impossible. . . . Lemony Snicket meets Klaus in this cheeky, Christmas classic-in-the-making that sparkles with wit and warmth!

Now a Netflix movie starring Kristen Wiig, Maggie Smith and Henry Lawfull!

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. . . .

"Irresistibly readable. Destined to become a Christmas and anytime-before-or-after-Christmas classic!" – Chris Grabenstein, New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

"The definitive (and funny) history of ho, ho, ho! My children loved it." – Yann Martel, bestselling author of Life of Pi

"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

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