Book Review: The Bird’s Christmas Carol

Bird's Christmas Carol, The

“Mama, dear, I do think that we have kept Christ’s birthday this time just as He would like it. Don’t you?”

The whole Bird family (with the exception of the displaced baby of the family) knows something is special when the latest addition to the family (and the first girl) comes into the world on Christmas day. Mrs. Bird names the child Carol. Carol grows to become the angel of the Bird household, but she’s a frail angel. The day finally comes when Mrs. Bird must accept that summers in the country and expensive doctors cannot cure her little girl. But despite her illness, Carol enjoys life. And she takes special joy in her plans to give her Christmas away to the poor children who live next door.

This is a really short book, easily read in an hour or less. Carol, the main character, reminded me a lot of Little Lord Fauntleroy. She’s one of those flawless embodiments of virtue sometimes favored by old-fashioned writers. If that sort of thing turns you off, you probably won’t enjoy The Bird’s Christmas Carol. Personally, I felt the narrative was a bit boring in parts, but the story is so short it didn’t really matter. And the ending was poignant. One of those bitter sweet, glad but sad endings. If your a fan of classics this would be a perfect Christmas read. And it’s in public domain, so you can easily find it for free. Bonus!

I’m trying to do a Christmas theme for this month. I did it last year for December, though, so finding books is that much more challenging. Any suggestions?!

Dawn for My Soul

LilyLord, I know You’re dead and buried,
For I saw You wrapped and carried.
Of these tears I’m growing wearied,
But my hope with You was buried.

So on this morn I make my way,
My final homage now to pay,
And find the stone now rolled away,
The body there no longer lays.

And then I see a ray of light,
A man in garments radiant, bright.
He tells me death has turned to life,
And brings the dawn to soul’s dark night.

The tears again flow down my face,
They’re streaming as I homeward race.
The tears of joy for endless grace,
The goodness of my God I taste.

My Savior lives, so join in song,
For death is weak and God is strong.
All pow’r and praise to Him belong,
His vict’ry is the angels’ song.

(Copyright 2013 by Leah E. Good)

Book Review: Christmas In Canaan

Christmas in CanaanIs 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
Pages: 325
Publisher: HarperCollins

Book Review: Miracle on 49th Street

Miracle on 49th StreetWith the month of December here, people are getting into the Christmas spirit, and I figured this blog should be no exception. So, for this week and the next couple of weeks, I’ll be reviewing Christmas flavored books. 😉 I’m starting with an easy-read favorite of mine.

He got out of the car and closed the door and got down in a crouch, so they were eye to eye. “You’re Jen’s kid, aren’t you.”

After Molly Parker’s mom dies of cancer, Molly is determined to break through to her father. Trouble is, Josh Cameron isn’t interested in being anybody’s dad. A star basketball player, Josh is full of himself and doesn’t seem to have room for Molly. He’s about to find out just how determined she can be. Can Molly win Josh over in time for their own Christmas miracle?

I can’t remember why I first picked this book out at the library, but I’m glad I did. It’s been good for many re-reads. It’s not a strongly Christmas themed story, but it definitely has some of the elements. I love the interactions between Molly and her best friend, Sam. And even though there are moments when I’d love to bop Josh over the head with a two by four, I like him too. If you’re ready for a sweet, sports themed story with a dash of Christmas, this book is for you.

Author: Mike Lupica
Audience: Middle Grade–Tween
Genre: Sports or General Fiction
Pages: 246
Publisher: Philomel Books

What are some of your favorite Christmas stories?