A Christmas Sonata

A Christmas Sonata

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by Gary Paulsen
     
 

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A young boy and his mother spend Christmas 1943 with relatives in northern Minnesota while his father is fighting in the war in Europe.  They take a long journey by train to a snowy land of vast frozen lakes, deep and sparkling cold, and the most magical Christmas tree the boy has ever seen.  He knows this will be the last Christmas he will spend

Overview

A young boy and his mother spend Christmas 1943 with relatives in northern Minnesota while his father is fighting in the war in Europe.  They take a long journey by train to a snowy land of vast frozen lakes, deep and sparkling cold, and the most magical Christmas tree the boy has ever seen.  He knows this will be the last Christmas he will spend with his cousin, who is dying.  The boy's uncle overhears the two cousins say there is no Santa Claus, and in a grand gesture that is nothing short of a Christmas miracle, he restores the children's faith in the spirit of the season.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Deborah Abbott
Once again, as he did in "The Cookcamp" , Paulsen envisions a specific time through the eyes of an unnamed boy. As Christmas, 1943, approaches, the preschool child inadvertently makes two weighty discoveries, and this short novel intricately weaves them into a poignant emotional experience. First, an unpleasant neighbor of the boy, who dislikes children in general and the boy in particular, claims to be Santa Claus when caught dressed up as the holiday figure. Second, the boy's slightly older cousin Matthew, who doesn't believe in Santa, is dying. Because the boy's father is in Europe fighting the war, the boy and his mother travel to northern Minnesota to spend the holiday with Uncle Ben, Aunt Marilyn, and Matthew. While the boys savor the season as best they can, it is the adults who champion the theme that a willingness to believe can work miracles. Paulsen is a master of characterization and point of view. His ability to get inside the mind of a child and communicate his perceptions starkly, precisely and realistically is a powerful literary tool, and the descriptive first-person narrative paints a picture so vivid, no reader remains unmoved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307804273
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
10/26/2011
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
80
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

"Don't worry about it—there is a Santa Claus if you want there to be a Santa Claus."

"There is?"

She nodded.  "That's how it works.  If you think hard about it and want it enough there will be a Santa."

I went back into Matthew's room and sat by his bed.  For a minute I thought he had gone to sleep and I looked at my coloring book and the picture of the pig and then Matthew moved.

"You're back."

"Mother says it's up to us if there's a Santa Claus or not."

"What do you mean?"

"She says if we want him, if we want him hard enough, there will be a Santa; and if we don't want him there won't be one."

He didn't say anything for a long time, and I thought he was thinking of something smart to say and that maybe he was going to swear.  I thought if he swore about Mother I would leave the room again and not come back, and I didn't care if he was sick and dying or not, but he didn't.

He didn't say anything about Mother, and he didn't swear.

He looked at me, right into my eyes, and he said, "I want him to be."

And I said, "I want him to be too."

And he said, "No.  I mean I want him to be, more than anything else in the whole world, more than all the things I've ever wanted, more than I want to live, I want him to be."

Meet the Author

Gary Paulsen is the popular author of three Newbery Honor books. He and his wife have homes in New Mexico and on the Pacific.

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A Christmas Sonata 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago