Kringle
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Kringle

4.7 10
by Tony Abbott, Greg Call
     
 


Just in time for Christmas comes a fantasy epic from one of today's most popular writers for children. It is the story of a young orphan realizing his destiny -- to become the legendary Kris Kringle.

Unlike the traditional Santa Claus myth, KRINGLE is a coming-of-age story about an orphan who becomes a force for good in a dark and violent time. It is a tale of

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Overview


Just in time for Christmas comes a fantasy epic from one of today's most popular writers for children. It is the story of a young orphan realizing his destiny -- to become the legendary Kris Kringle.

Unlike the traditional Santa Claus myth, KRINGLE is a coming-of-age story about an orphan who becomes a force for good in a dark and violent time. It is a tale of fantasy, of goblins, elves, and flying reindeer -- and of a boy from the humblest beginnings who fulfills his destiny.

Our tale begins in 500 A.D., when goblins kidnapped human children and set them to work in underground mines. Kringle is one such child.... until he discovers his mission - to free children from enslavement. His legend lives on today, as he travels the earth every Christmas Eve to quell the goblins once more.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

SLJ 10/1/05
ABBOTT, Tony. Kringle. illus. by Greg Call. 338p. Scholastic. Oct. 2005. Tr $14.99. ISBN 0-439-74942-5. LC number unavailable.
Gr 4-6–In northern Britain in the early fifth century, a boy named Kringle and an old woman named Merwen live in an isolated cottage. When they are attacked by goblins, Kringle runs away, meets friendly shoe-repairing elves and pirates, and above all makes it his mission to rescue Merwen and hundreds of children. This fantasy combines magic (elven runes and flying reindeer), history (the end of the Roman occupation figures prominently, as does a certain Brother Alban), theology (Kringle is fascinated to learn about baby Jesus and his family), and a good dose of imagination to come up with a delightful explanation of the origins of our present-day Santa Claus. Fantasy readers will enjoy this tale year-round, despite the reindeer and holly on the cover.–E. M.

10/1/05
Booklist
Abbott, Tony. Kringle. Oct. 2005. 352p. Scholastic, $14.99 (0-439-74942-5).
Gr. 5–8. On first glance, this story of how Kris Kringle came to live at the North Pole, surrounded by toy-making elves, sounds like the premise for a lighthearted cartoon. It is anything but. The boy Kringle lives in a dark wood in a dark age with Merwen, the old woman who has taken care of him since his mother died in childbirth. On the longest day of the year, the goblins come to enslave children. Kringle barely escapes, but Merwen is captured. So begins Kringle's long journey to find her, during which he learns his true purpose, after being rescued by elves, who aid him in the inevitable battle against evil. Framed in a world of cold and with religious overtones, the fantasy recalls C. S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In the end, Kringle triumphs and vows to make the year's longest day, which marks the birth of the Child, a happy one for children. Told in a come-nearer voice, this epic could have used some tightening, but the enticing premise, appealing young hero, and nonstop action will appeal to many fantasy lovers. ––Ilene Cooper
VOYA
Darkness lurks outside twelve-year-old Kringle's forest hut, the darkness of winter and of the goblins who pursue him. As the Romans withdraw from Britain and Norse invaders approach, the goblins kidnap children to power the mysterious Grunding, a war machine with which they plan to take over the world. Thrust into the role of rescuer, Kringle enlists the help of elves, pirates (Norsemen), and even reindeer as he travels north to confront the evil menace. Readers are hearing about Santa Claus, of course, but a Santa far removed from the commercial clichE. Abbott, author of the popular series Secrets of Droon, reimagines the old elf in a fresh and invigorating way. Like the archetypal hero, Kringle begins as a naOve boy and grows into his role. Familiar elements of the Christmas story-the elves, the sleigh, the North Pole home-fit convincingly into the book's internal logic. There are battles and blood, but the gentle narration of old Brother Alban balances these with incidents of goodness and compassion. Alban teaches Kringle about the Christ Child, so that, without a hint of preachiness, the religious significance of the season is integrated into the story. The plot could use some tightening, but that is a minor quibble. The book will have wide appeal for fantasy lovers and Narnia fans as well as seasonal browsers attracted by a beautiful cover and classy, gold-edged pages. Public libraries especially will want multiple copies of what should become a holiday family classic. -Kathleen Beck...

HBG
Horn Book Guide
(January 1, 2006; 0-439-74942-5; 978-0-439-74942-8)

In an elaborate, saccharine fantasy, Abbott explains how a boy named Kringle joins the elves, frees humanity from terror by defeating evil kidnapping goblins, and grows up to be the famous Christmas gift-give

VOYA
Darkness lurks outside twelve-year-old Kringle's forest hut, the darkness of winter and of the goblins who pursue him. As the Romans withdraw from Britain and Norse invaders approach, the goblins kidnap children to power the mysterious "Grunding," a war machine with which they plan to take over the world. Thrust into the role of rescuer, Kringle enlists the help of elves, "pirates" (Norsemen), and even reindeer as he travels north to confront the evil menace. Readers are hearing about Santa Claus, of course, but a Santa far removed from the commercial clichT. Abbott, author of the popular series Secrets of Droon, reimagines the old elf in a fresh and invigorating way. Like the archetypal hero, Kringle begins as a nanve boy and grows into his role. Familiar elements of the Christmas story-the elves, the sleigh, the North Pole home-fit convincingly into the book's internal logic. There are battles and blood, but the gentle narration of old Brother Alban balances these with incidents of goodness and compassion. Alban teaches Kringle about the Christ Child, so that, without a hint of preachiness, the religious significance of the season is integrated into the story. The plot could use some tightening, but that is a minor quibble. The book will have wide appeal for fantasy lovers and Narnia fans as well as seasonal browsers attracted by a beautiful cover and classy, gold-edged pages. Public libraries especially will want multiple copies of what should become a holiday family classic. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2005, Scholastic, 324p., Ages 11 to15.
—Kathleen Beck
Children's Literature
Already well known for his "Droon" series, Tony Abbott was asked by his editor to write something "big." His editor should be extremely well pleased. This tale could easily be dismissed as yet another history of Santa Claus but it is much more and a good read to boot. Set in the fifth century AD, the Romans are leaving the country and dark times are descending upon the people of the hedges, wood, and hills. The story begins in an isolated hut with an orphaned boy hearing, yet again, the story of his own birth and naming. As he was born a sparrow appeared with a small bell which it leaves behind. The sound of the bell becomes Kringle's very name and we know that he has a very special destiny. Relying on lots of research the author adroitly weaves together many traditional ideas about Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, Sinterklass, etc., but he expands the story with incredible insight while creating a truly mythic hero. All of the elements are here for those hungry for tales of goblins (hideously ugly and truly evil), elves (committed to helping humans and have been repairing shoes during the night for centuries-you can guess their role), pirates (Viking invaders), magical animals (some can fly—you know which ones—some can talk, some will fetch food for humans), soldiers (the people do try to defend their homes) and a brave, plucky boy with an insight far greater than even he knows as he sets out on a journey that will give him a place in the hearts of children forever. The long, dangerous quest to rescue his beloved guardian involves Kringle in daring exploits of mountain climbing, fighting with the evil goblins, rescuing an entire race of elves, and creating a "flying sledge." Hisinnate goodness is bolstered by the magic imbued in his being by the deeds of his parents on behalf of "the good." Kind, generous behavior is rewarded by forces that work for good in the world and Kringle is part of that magic as he finds a way to defeat the goblins and even to make time stand still—thus accounting for all that work in just one night. Nature and all of its forces aid Kringle along the way but it is his truly good heart and brave soul that wins the day—with a little help from his stalwart supporters who stand by him every inch of the way. Only a character of great personal strength and charisma could engender such faithfulness and Kringle is just that character. Guess you figured out that I loved this one. Readers will enjoy identifying and recognizing how the various explanations of the myth are presented as a natural part of this magical story. 2005, Scholastic, Ages 8 to 12.
—Sheilah Egan

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439749428
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
10/28/2005
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.66(w) x 8.36(h) x 0.84(d)
Lexile:
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author


Tony Abbott is the author of more than ninety books for young readers, including THE SECRETS OF DROON series; middle-grade novel KRINGLE; and THE HAUNTING OF DEREK STONE series. He was the recipient of the 2006 Golden Kite Award, as well as the 2009 Edgar Award. Tony was born in Ohio, and now lives with his wife and two daughters in Trumbull, Connecticut. Visit him online at www.tonyabbottbooks.com.

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Kringle 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book for reading aloud before the holidays. Themes include forgiveness, triumph over evil, and perserverance. Girls and boys alike will enjoy the epic scale of the main character's journey and the classic good versus evil theme. Lord of the Rings for pre-teens!
224perweek More than 1 year ago
This was by far the best story of how Santa Clause came to be that I have ever read. It combines elements of christianity, paganism, myth and folklore. And it works. It totally makes sense. A great read for the up coming holidays.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with this book the year it came out! Each year my husband would buy me one, two or thee Christmas themed books. This is my hands down favorite!!  Sadly, I cannot find my original book, and so I bought another. I will continue to look for other copies so that I may find enough for my three sons and my three grandchildren to have, to one day read to their children. This story combines all parts of the Christmas story, from magic, to magick, to the Christ child, to elves. From challenges and determination to hope and love.  I wish my grandchildren lived close to me so that reading this throughout the month of December would have become a tradition. I hope it does in fact become one for them as parents. It's too bad that it's not carried by B &amp; N anymore.  I'll find enough copies though, for my family.  Tony Abbott, you have created a fantastic realm that is the true spirit of Christmas. Gregg Call, your illustrations complement this book beautifully.  I LOVE books, so it's usually impossible to nail me down on my favorite book. In this genre of Seasonal Stories, I have no problems at all in coming up with my hands down favorite. BUY IT, READ IT, you'll fall in love with it too. I promise. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First read this book in middle school over 5 years ago, and I fell in love with it! Great book for anyone of any age in my opinion. 
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is perfect as an annual Christmas read-aloud. Combines the stories of the Gift Giver (Santa Clause) and the birth of the Christ child into one book. We have read it at least 4 or 5 years in a row and the story never gets old. Wonderful family Christmas tradition.
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