Amelia Wishart was the first child ever to receive a Christmas present. It was her Christmas spirit that gave Santa the extra boost of magic he needed to make his first trip around the world. But now Amelia is in trouble.
When her mother falls ill, she is sent to the workhouse to toil under cruel Mr. Creeper. For a whole year, Amelia scrubs the floors and eats watery gruel, without a whiff of kindness to keep her going. It’s not long before her hope begins to drain away.
Meanwhile, up at the North Pole, magic levels dip dangerously low as Christmas approaches, and Santa knows that something is gravely wrong. With the help of his trusty reindeer, a curious cat, and Charles Dickens, he sets out to find Amelia, the only girl who might be able to save Christmas. But first Amelia must learn to believe again. . . .
“Matt Haig has an empathy for the human condition, the light and the dark of it, and he uses the full palette to build his excellent stories.” —Neil Gaiman, Newbery-winning author of The Graveyard Book
"With a little bit of naughty and a lot of nice, this Christmastime yarn is a veritable sugarplum." —Kirkus Reviews
|Publisher:||Random House Children's Books|
|Sold by:||Random House|
|Lexile:||640L (what's this?)|
|File size:||67 MB|
|Note:||This product may take a few minutes to download.|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
MATT HAIG suffered a breakdown in his early twenties. After battling depression for a long time he turned to writing, and he now believes that reading and writing books saved his life. His novels include the bestsellers The Last Family in England, The Radleys and The Humans, which in Canada was a Costco Buyer’s Pick and has sold approximately 15,000 copies. His books have been translated into thirty languages. All his novels for adults have been optioned for film. Matt lives in York with his wife and their two children.
CHRIS MOULD went to art school at the age of sixteen. He has won a Nottingham Children’s Book Award and been commended by the Sheffield Children’s Book Awards. He loves his work and likes to write and draw the kind of books he would have liked to have had on his shelf as a boy. He is married with two children and lives in Yorkshire.
Read an Excerpt
Do you know how magic works?
The kind of magic that gets reindeer to fly in the sky? The kind that helps Father Christmas travel around the world in a single night? The kind that can stop time and make dreams come true?
Without hope, there would be no magic.
It isn’t Father Christmas or Blitzen or any of the other reindeer that make magic happen on the night before Christmas.
It’s every child who wants and wishes for it to happen. If no one wished for magic to happen, there would be no magic. And because we know Father Christmas comes every year, we know now that magic--at least some kind of magic--is real.
But this wasn’t always the case. There was once a time before stockings and Christmas mornings spent excitedly ripping off wrapping paper. It was quite a miserable time, when very few human children had any reason to believe in magic at all.
And so, the very first night that Father Christmas ever decided to give human children a reason to be happy and to believe in magic, he had a lot of work to do.
The toys were in his sack, the sleigh and reindeer were ready, but as he flew out of Elfhelm, he knew there wasn’t enough magic in the air. He traveled through the northern lights, but they were hardly glowing at all. And the reason for the low magic levels was that there wasn’t much hoping going on. After all, how does a child hope for magic to happen if they’ve never seen it?
So that very first visit from Father Christmas nearly didn’t come. And that it did happen is thanks to one thing. A single human child. A girl, in London, who believed in magic totally. Who hoped and hoped for a miracle every single day. She was the child who believed in Father Christmas before anyone else. And she was the one who helped Father Christmas, just as his reindeer were starting to struggle, because the amount she hoped, while she was lying in bed that Christmas Eve, added light to the sky. It gave Father Christmas a purpose. A direction. And he followed a thin trace of light all the way to her home, at 99 Haberdashery Road, in London.
And once that was done, once he had placed a full stocking of toys at the foot of her bug-ridden bed, the hope grew. Magic was there, in the world, and it spread among the dreams of all children. But Father Christmas couldn’t fool himself. Without that one child, that eight-year-old girl called Amelia Wishart, hoping so hard for magic to be real, Christmas would never have happened. Yes, it took elves and reindeer and the workshop and all of that, but she was the one who saved it. The dream of magic.
She was the first child.
The girl who saved Christmas.
And Father Christmas would never forget it. . . .
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Such a fun, Christmasy book and really makes you think about giving around this time of year. I loved the illustrations as well! :)
Wonderful magical story
The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig is a very charming story that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. It is the story of Amelia Wishart, who is the first child ever to receive a gift from Father Christmas. She never loses hope throughout the misery she encounters in her very young life and however much she would like to stop believing in magic and goodness, she never fully does. Her hope made that first visit possible, and, just a couple of years later, her hope might just save Christmas itself. The story takes place in two locations that couldn't be more different: Elfhelm, where it is clean and only ever gets as cold as you want it to be, and in 1841 London, where it is dirty, cold and unfriendly place to orphans. The characters in the story are quite fun. Amelia and Father Christmas both have strong personalities with a firm determination to get things done. Mr. Creeper is just as his name predicts, he is creepy and not a nice man at all. The guest appearances of a ruling head of state and a famous author are perfect. One passage was hilarious and it took me several minutes to sop laughing before I could continue reading. I was amused. I recommend this book for read-a-loud's to children and for middle grade readers. I received this book from NetGalley via Random House Children's Knopf Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review.