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What Child Is This?: A Christmas Story
     

What Child Is This?: A Christmas Story

4.2 20
by Caroline B. Cooney
 

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Katie, a foster child, wants only one thing for Christmas: a family. However, there are no wise men coming from the East or shepherds watching in the fields. There’s also a teenager named Matt, who believes in doing a good deed. And another teenager, Liz, whose family decorates and celebrates but leaves her wondering where the true meaning of the holiday has

Overview

Katie, a foster child, wants only one thing for Christmas: a family. However, there are no wise men coming from the East or shepherds watching in the fields. There’s also a teenager named Matt, who believes in doing a good deed. And another teenager, Liz, whose family decorates and celebrates but leaves her wondering where the true meaning of the holiday has gone. And Mr. Knight and his son, Tack, who run an inn and put up a tree each season, on which children’s wishes will hang as they hope and wait for them to be granted.
 
It’s the season of joy, hope, and miracles, but will the Christmas spirit be strong enough to grant those wishes that seem impossible?

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Sarah A. Hudson
A departure from Cooney's adventure and suspense novels, this, too, is a page turner. The modern Christmas story centers on three teenagers, Tack, Liz, and Matt, whose lives are intertwined during the holidays. Liz is the younger daughter of materialistic parents, for whom Christmas is a party. She has a crush on classmate Tack, whose strong, close family owns a restaurant, the River Wind Inn, where the Christmas tree displays bells expressing the Christmas wishes of underprivileged children. Matt, a foster child for many years, works at the River Wind Inn. He has become a survivor of the foster system by daring not to feel hope, only anger. These three are brought together by the hope and need of Katie, Matt's younger foster sister, whose Christmas wish is to have a family. Cooney's characters come alive. Matt's frustration and anger are realistic, as are Liz's and Matt's quests for more meaning in their lives. Cooney gives us excellent Christian fiction, as well as an uplifting novel of the human spirit. The story is not just about how Katie finds a family at Christmas, but also about how Matt and Liz learn to think of others more than the adults in their lives have taught them to do. Allowing themselves to feel all emotions, seek community, and believe in a high power bring meaning to their lives. This beautiful novel deserves to be read by many. The story evokes such emotion that I am still thinking and talking about it with friends and colleagues. VOYA Codes: 5Q 4P M J S (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 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
School Library Journal
Gr 5-10A heart-tugging story with an upbeat ending, told in alternating chapters by the young people involved. Eight-year-old Katie, an emotionally starved foster child, writes a wish on a paper bell that will be hung on a Christmas tree in a local restaurant. There, members of the community can choose a request and give a gift to a needy child. However, Katie doesn't ask for toys or clothingshe wishes for a family. Although the social worker says her request is inappropriate, Matt, a high school student who lives in the same foster home and works in the restaurant, hangs the bell on the tree. Liz, Matt's classmate, is upset when her uncaring father reads the wish, calls it ridiculous, and tears up the bell. Meanwhile, Liz's older sister struggles with her grief over the recent death of her baby. When Matt tells Katie on Christmas Eve that her wish will not come true, the devastated girl runs out into a blizzard, setting off a chain of events that brings about a resolution befitting a holiday tale. Showing her flair for adolescent angst, Cooney allows the characters to speak for themselves, eventually weaving their lives together into a fitting climax. A moving, fast paced novel, sure to appeal to Cooney's fans.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307818904
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
08/29/2012
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
540,447
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

It's Christmas, the season of miracles, joy, and hope.  Is that spirit strong enough to bring about the impossible?

"Katie, age 8, wants a family." Katie 's Christmas wish is perfectly simple.  And perfectly impossible.  Katie lives in a foster home with fifteen-year-old Matt, another foster child who is so frozen that the warmth of Christmas can't even begin to thaw him.



A family, thought Katie.  You'd sit on their laps, and their hugs would last and last.

Not hugs like social workers gave: quick as grades.

Hugs like mothers gave: wrapping-you-up hugs.

Hugs like father gave: hoisting-you-into-the-air and tossing-you-around hugs.

Being a foster kid was like living in a blender.  Life was always flinging you against sharp blades.

But amazingly, as Christmas approached, Matt was suddenly willing to help Katie with spelling and arithmetic.  Matt was silent but mean; mean from years of no family...and Matt helped her.

She wondered if he would let her walk with him part of the way to the restaurant when he went to work tonight.  Sometimes he did, and sometimes he would let her stop and talk about the pretty decorations people had.  Once, he had held her hand.

Meet the Author

Caroline B. Cooney is the author of Goddess of Yesterday (an ALA Notable Children’s Book); The Ransom of Mercy Carter; and The Face on the Milk Carton (an IRA–CBC Children’s Choice). She lives in Westbrook, CT.

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What Child Is This?: A Christmas Story 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a heartwarming tale about what the less fortunate then us go through during the holidays. It aslo shows that some people care about those who have less than us and how others can be so cruel. Who in this story is campassionate and who is cruel? Something to think about during the next holiday season: Which one are YOU?
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CarolineB More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book. The story sets place around Christmas Time, so I suggest reading it in December for that extra realism. I adore books that make you want clap in the end, and this is one of them. Any one of Caroline B. Cooney's books gives you that feeling. I've cried in her books! I would recommend 'Losing Christina: Fog' by the same author but they don't sell it on here (as long as I've looked) because that is a crying type story. Oops, I'm getting of topic. Anyway, you should read this book!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Me and the book club at my school all loved this book!!! It was a great christmas story and a great book to share with family. I have never read any other books by this author, but I hope to read more tin the future. This was an easy book for me to read, and I hope that it will be or has been easy for you to read too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is another great book written by Caroline B. Cooney. If you like this one, you have to read all the rest of them! I highly suggest you read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was so good!!! I read it in one night. Also I loved how the story ends. I would recomed this book to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A GREAT BOOK! I started it and couldn't put it down!!! It took me 3 hours to read. It's just all about the love and joy of Christmas.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Christmas is not what you can get from it. Christmas is giving. What Child is This? A Christmas Story is the best in relating what Christmas is - GIVING! An emotional-filled story that brings tears and joy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is very very good, and has an unexpected twist at the end! It really shows the true meaning of Christmas.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is my favorite book of all time. I could really relate to the characters. I enjoyed this book so much i gave to others to read so that they would know the true meaning of Christmas. A wonderful book that should be read and treasered by all!
Guest More than 1 year ago
it was so good i read it lost year but it's in my heart for this christmas.its a rule story about what christmas means so please read it you would love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK IS NOT GOOD AT ALL. THIS BOOK IS BORING. I HAD TO STOP AT THE THIRD CHAPTER. I COULD NOT READ ON.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cooney does a wonderful job of protraying that life is not perfect in this truely insparational book. Opon reading it I felt like I had gotten to know the characters as I do when I read any other books that Caroline B. Cooney has written. If you are looking for a page-turner this is one. I recommend 'What Child is This' to anyone who who wants to be sucked into the lives of Katie (the orphanded child).
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book shows you what the real meaning of Christmas is all about. It tells you the story of a little girl named Katie, who you come to know during the book. I read it during the holiday season, and I was so moved by it. I recommend it to anyone who believes that miracles really can happen.