This giveaway is now closed, and the winner is Mel (dancerinthemaking). Mel, I've emailed you and will need a response with shipping info within four days. Thanks for entering, everyone!
I read about Kevin Alan Milne's The Paper Bag Christmas on someone else's blog and it looked like a great Christmas read, so I was excited to get the chance to review it! On the outside, it's a beautiful book. It's a hardcover with an embossed jacket, which would make it a lovely Christmas gift.
Here is a description of the book from the publisher's website:
Dr. Christopher Ringle is the last person you'd expect to find moonlighting as Santa Claus at the mall on the day after Thanksgiving. But it is there that he meets a young man named Molar Alan, who desperately needs a new perspective on the underlying value of Christmas. Dr. Ringle recruits Mo and his older brother as volunteers at a nearby children's hospital for the holiday season. At the hospital, Mo is tasked to help bring holiday cheer to the young cancer patients on the fifth floor. His biggest challenge is befriending a decidedly angry girl who is so embarrassed by her scarred appearance that she hides her face behind the safety of a paper bag. Almost in spite of himself, Mo finds that Christmas joy emanates from a source far greater than the North Pole, while the young girl learns that she is more beautiful than she had ever imagined.
As a person who read a lot of difficult books in college, I found this book to be an easy read--in a good way. Nothing about it is hard to understand, and I think younger people could enjoy it as much as adults. Milne did a wonderful job of creating dynamic, lovable characters. One of my favorite professors once told us that a character should be like an iceberg: readers will see just a tiny bit of the character by his actions and words in the story, but there is so much more than that beneath the surface, and the author must know all of it before the story is written. That's what I think Milne has done with his main characters, Molar and Katrina. The storyline was seamless and engaging, and it's amazing that it all fits into 150 little pages. You could read it in an afternoon! (I am a slow reader and it took me 3-4 hours.)
If you are an elementary, middle, or high school teacher looking for a book to read aloud to your class during the month of December, this one would be perfect. (A couple of my teachers did that when I was in school and I loved it.) The main characters in the book are between nine and twelve years old, so I think children could relate to and enjoy this book possibly even more than adults could. This would also be a good book to give to your own children to read before Christmas or to read together as a family.
The Paper Bag Christmas is the perfect book to help young and old alike refocus on the meaning of Christmas. I am glad to have read it, and now I'd like to pass it along to someone else. I thought it'd be fun to do a sort of giveaway, but really more of a book pass-along. (What's the point of keeping a book you've already read?) If you'd like to have The Paper Bag Christmas, just leave a comment on this post telling me who you will pass the book along to after you've read it. This will end on Thursday, December 4 at 11:59 pm. The person chosen will be emailed and will have four days to get back to me with a mailing address.
If you don't get my copy, or if you'd like a copy now, there are some good deals on Amazon.
Grab yourself a cup of hot chocolate and a blanket and curl up in your recliner with The Paper Bag Christmas!