Thursday, November 27, 2008

Book Review: The Paper Bag Christmas (CLOSED)

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!

24 comments:

kellyn2girls1boy said...

I would give this book to my sister after I read it. She always likes to read a good book. I don't get much time to read so I like to have quick reads like this one.

Kristin said...

I love to read and so does my sister so I would pass it on to her when I am done. :-)

Jennifer said...

You don't have to enter me, I was just going to say that I've won this very book in a giveaway and I loved it!! It was really easy to read, but still good for an adult or child. I cried as well! LOL! I'm a big baby!

Renee G said...

I would pass this book along to my sister as soon as I finished reading it.

rsgrandinetti@yahoo.com

Liz said...

I would enjoy passing this book onto my sister in law after I read it! We love to share books with each other.

Ashley said...

I'm a reader, teacher and a mom to one... so far. Sounds like a great read!

Wendy said...

I would give this book to my cousin if I were to win it :o)

I can be reached at clwendy at yahoo dot com, thanks! :O)

Kali said...

I'd love to enter your contest. After reading the book, I would likely pass this on to my dear friend Trudy. She loves books as much as me! Thank you for your generosity!

Sincerely,
Kali

Kimberly said...

Sounds like a good book. I would pass it along to one of my Jr High girls after finishing it. :)

notnigella.com said...

This looks fabulous, I would probably pass it on to my middle sister as I know she'd appreciate it!

Susan W said...

I love to read and this sounds so interesting...

Chicago Saver said...

This book sounds wonderful. I love to read and really love Christmas stories. Thanks for the great giveaway!
Kristen.lee17@gmail.com

Sal said...

It sounds wonderful! I would pass it on to my great aunt, a very special woman to me. She is almost 90 and still an avid reader!

Jenne said...

I'd give it to my mom when I'm through

Carolsue said...

I have read this book and it is wonderful! As I would like to keep my copy, I would give this one to my best friend.
digicat{AT}sbcglobal{DOT}net

Josh and Kelley's family said...

I would give this book to my in-laws

Manhattan said...

I'll pass this on to my mother to read. I love to share my stuff!

Crystal(manhattandolls[at]gmail.com)

mel*~reachforthestars~* said...

Probably to my little sister! I think she'll enjoy it very much! it'll be a great christmas present to receive. It's like passing on the spirit of giving to someone else(aka my sister!)

Thanks for the giveaway!

Cheers,
melody
mel_88_88@hotmail.com

H.S. said...

I'll share this with my niece!

H.S.
tan.huishan@gmail dot com

Mel said...

Lovely giveaway!
I'll give this to my friend. She loves reading so this maybe a great book to pass to her!

dancerinthemaking(at)gmail.com

Kelly O. said...

This book looks like an interesting read. I'm crossing my fingers!
Merry Christmas
Kelly O.
skotten@distributel.net

pugslet said...

Please enter me in the drawing for the giveaway...thanks.

PrincessMax said...

It sounds like my dad would really like it.

DejahView said...

I read and review young adult novels. My mother-in-law is a librarian, and I love being able to pass books on to her. Books are always such a great gift!