Is everyone ready for Christmas; wrapping presents, reading the Christmas story, and listening to the Focus on the Family Radio Theater production of A Christmas Carol? Well here’s a book to add to the Christmasy mix.
“That’s what I always wanted to know. Why would some fella be willing to do something generous for a kid he doesn’t even know?” Rodney asked. “Have to say I’m surprised, Mr. Burton. Of all the people on the face of the earth,” he said, his voice softening, “I figured if anyone knew the answer to that one, it’d be you.”
Racial tension and a fight between school boys seems an unlikely start for a Christmas story, yet that is exactly how Christmas in Canaan begins. Rodney, a smart black boy, lives with his grandmother. DJ, a white boy, is the son of a farmer and struggles with school. After getting into a fight, both boys resent each other. They are horrified when DJ’s father and Rodney’s grandmother force them to live together for four days. They might have remained enemies if not for an injured dog. As they tend to the dog their grudging partnership grows into the bonds of a friendship that will last a lifetime. Their friendship carries them through the death of Rodney’s grandmother, hard times on the Burton farm, and a Christmas where they can’t afford gifts. It’s on that Christmas that Mr. Burton teaches them that, wherever friendship is, there will always be “some Christmas”. And, years later, when Christmas comes to Canaan, Rodney is ready to bring “some Christmas” to the friends that have become his family.
This is a heartwarming tale of friendship. The story rambles along like a stream but is not without a few rapids. A great read for anytime of year, but especially good for the holiday season.
Authors: Kenny Rogers & Donald Davenport
Audience: All Ages (Would make a great family read aloud)
Genre: General Fiction/Historical Fiction