Young Scrooge: A Very Scary Christmas Story

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A Goosebumps Christmas Carol and it's not a great one. It's also not the worst. I was hoping for a little more comedy.  I think it is a good enough adaptation to use a compare/contrast with the actual Dickens story. Maybe it would work as a gateway to bring kids to Dickens- I'm not sure. 

Rick Scroogeman hates Christmas with a passion. That stupid movie means he gets called “Scrooge” all month long. And his birthday is also on Christmas Day so his parents use it as an excuse to only buy him one set of presents. On the other hand, Scroogeman thinks he is the funniest kid at his school; he’s not a bully, he thinks, he’s just having fun with his friends. That's where the three ghosts come into play.

 

Young Scrooge: A Very Scary Christmas Story By RL Stine

Jennifer Naughton

I'm a lifelong bibliophile who happens to love children's books and who should have become a librarian. Instead I horde books in case of apocalypse or the enactment of a Fahrenheit 451 type law. My five kids accept my addiction and have learned to accept books in odd places.

Weird but True! Christmas

Another fun fact book from Nat Geo. I love these nonfiction factoid books for travel. My kids love reading these out loud, and you'd be surprised how much of these facts stick in their long-term memory. 

 Did you know that Santa's reindeer are probably all female? Or that artificial snow can be made from seaweed? Or that "Jingle Bells" was the first Christmas carol sung in space? 

Even though my kids are in the older age range for this series, we still have a lot of fun with them. This book is little too and might just fit into a Christmas stocking.

Weird but True! Christmas!

Snow Treasure

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Snow Treasure is in my top 10 of Winter setting books. In this case, the Audible version is excellent also. We read it aloud ourselves and this time around I searched for awhile until I found an older hardcover copy because I just didn't like the new cover. I'm a weirdo about a good cover. I don't care how much the inside is falling apart if it has decent cover art. 

Also, I did around thirty seconds of research and had discovered that this isn't a real story. I read it as a kid and always thought it was true. That's okay- it's a real page-turner, and it could have been right. In the spirit of Mythbusters, I'd call this plausible even if it isn't true. They could have pulled it off.

0n March 15, 1942, the New York Times book reviewer wrote:

It is a story of courage and wits and grim determination, and though the most tragic aspects of the invasion have no place in it, it makes plain to readers of 9 to 12 the treachery and arrogance with which the enemies of three-quarters of the world are trying to stamp out freedom.

 

Snow Treasure is dated now. You don't get to know any of the main characters as you would in a middle-grade novel that someone would write today That never bothered me when I thought it was a true story and if you read it as nonfiction, it holds up fine. If you aren't familiar with it the general storyline is this:

Peter Lundstrom and his friends are living in Norway under German occupation during WW2. His father, a banker, and Uncle Victor, a fisherman, and other townsmen have devised a plan to get Norway's gold out of the country and to America so that it never falls into the hands of the Nazis. The idea is that every child would take four bars of gold on their sleds 12 miles to where Uncle Victor's camouflaged boat is at anchor in the nearby fjord.  They would bury the gold in the snow and build a snowman over their gold bars.  The townsmen figured no one would question sledding children.  After hiding their gold, the children would head over to a nearby farm where they eat dinner and have a place to sleep.  And during the night, Uncle Victor would come and fetch the gold and load it on his boat so that he can take it to America for safe keeping. 

This is the kind of book that I almost hesitate to blog about as it is so well known, but in the spirit of listing my 100 books of Wintertide it must be included.

Snow Treasure By Marie McSwigan is a book in our home library.

Krampus and the Thief of Christmas

I'm a big fan of Kindle Unlimited. Sure, sometimes you get some duds- but mostly I've had excellent luck finding hidden gems. This story was one of the good ones. I love this dark Christmas tale. It's about a girl who is enlisted by Krampus to steal the key to Christmas to save her brother.

I love all of it especially the secondary characters, the elves and the trolls, the Christmas Cat and the snowmen. So much fun! Krampus and Father Christmas are both described with such depth, neither taking on their definitive 'good guy/bad guy' roles.  Krampus was very likable, and I loved how he and Santa worked together after remembering that to have a light you must also have dark. The balance between the two was excellent, and I loved the realness Black showed in both getting a little tired of their duties. Sometimes even if you love your job, work still feels like work! 

All in all a big hit with us.

Krampus and the Thief of Christmas By Eldritch Black

Jennifer Naughton

I'm a lifelong bibliophile who happens to love children's books and who should have become a librarian. Instead I horde books in case of apocalypse or the enactment of a Fahrenheit 451 type law. My five kids accept my addiction and have learned to accept books in odd places.