2018 ALSC Notable Children’s Recording
Before there was Santa Claus, there was a young boy who believed in the impossible. . . . Lemony Snicket meets Elf in this warmhearted Christmas caper.
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. . . .
Sparkling with wit and warmth, A Boy Called Christmas is a cheeky new Christmas classic-in-the-making from acclaimed author Matt Haig and illustrator Chris Mould.
"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
“The most evergreen, immortal Christmas story to be published for decades.” —Stephen Fry
"Humorous and heartfelt, A Boy Called Christmas will grow your heart three sizes and make you believe in magic." --Liesl Shurtliff, New York Times bestselling author of Rump
"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
|Publisher:||Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.10(d)|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Matt Haig is an internationally bestselling author whose novels for children and adults have been translated into 26 languages. His children’s books have won the Smarties Gold Medal, the Alex Award, and the Blue Peter Book Award, and been nominated several times for the Carnegie Medal and the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. He lives in Brighton, England, with his wife and two children. He lives in Brighton, on the south coast of England, with his wife and two children. Visit him at matthaig.com and follow him @matthaig1
Read an Excerpt
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.
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 . . .
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a great, unique Christmas story. When I was a kid, I loved stories about Santa. I always wondered, Where did he come from? This is a great origin story about a boy named Nikolas who grew up to become Father Christmas. The narration style reminded me of the narrator of A Series of Unfortunate Events. The narrator would comment on things in the story, that Nikolas didn’t know. The narrator would also speak directly to the reader. Though Nikolas didn’t have as hard a time as the Beaudelaire children in A Series of Unfortunate Events, he did have some hardships, such as losing his family and being on his own. The next book was set up at the end with the introduction of a girl named Amelia. I’m excited to read the rest of the series.
Every book he has written, is oustanding! Really puts you in the christmas mood. Highy recommended as well as "The girl who saved Christmas"
My initial plan had been to listen to this story over the course of a few nights. That plan changed when I started to listen though and got immersed in this adorable story. Our main character, Nikolas, brought about an instant connection for me. It’s obvious he’s had a difficult life, and yet he remains positive and full of love. As the story progresses more and more characters are added both good and bad. As lovely and inviting as the characters are, my favorite part of this story is the message behind it. As the description states, this book is full of impossible things. It’s all about a boy learning to believe in the impossible to make those hopes and wishes come true. I can easily see this becoming a family tradition to sit around and listen to over the holidays. I expected to enjoy it but was admitted expecting something that was geared only toward small children. That isn’t the case at all, at least for me. While it doesn’t go as far as many current animated movies with adult jokes cleverly hidden in among child safe material, I do think parents will be able to enjoy it as well. There are a variety of lessons to be discussed from this story such as the importance of honesty, loyalty, kindness, the power of fear on our actions, greed, and more. As amazing as that message is it needs something to bring it to life. I’ve just started listening to audiobooks this year and am always a little nervous because so much depends on the person narrating the story. I was pretty sure this was going to be good with Stephen Fry reading and I was pleasantly surprised that it was even better than I’d hoped. His voice brings each character to life with a whole personality all their own. I highly recommend this title in any form to families with younger children. It’s listed as middle grade but I think even younger kids would appreciate the magic and excitement within. I’d like to thank BloggingforBooks for providing me with a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for my honest review.