We picked two great novels for 8-12 year olds this month and although one of them is the story of how Father Christmas came to be, we really feel that it could be read anytime of the year. Both books would make wonderful read-a-louds.
A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig of Brighton, England and illustrated by Chris Mould of Yorkshire, England. We fell in love with this charming book back in June and knew we had to put it in our December box. Best described as Roald Dahl meets Lemony Snicket, it no doubt will become a classic. Eleven-year-old Nikolas, nicknamed Christmas, has a pretty sad life. The son of woodcutter he lives with his father in the woods of Finland. They are so poor that his only toy is doll made out of a turnip. But he loves it because his parents gave it to him. When his father goes missing he sets off on a dangerous journey to the North Pole to find him. A wonderful adventure with a reindeer named Blitzen, a bad troll, a magical elf village where the elves have lost their Christmas spirit and a boy who believes that anything is possible. I can’t wait for the sequel, The Girl Who Saved Christmas which should be available in Canada in time for Christmas 2017.
The Dining and Social Club for Time Travellers is the debut novel for Elyse Kishimoto of Toronto, Ontario. This fast moving sci-fi/fantasy is the first in the series with book 2 coming in the spring of 2017. Louisa Sparks finds a strange timepiece in the pocket of her grandfather’s coat. The mechanism has an inscription on it that reads “KEEP ME SAFE.” Before she knows it, not only has she been catapulted through time but there is now a letter in her pocket. It’s a dinner invitation to join the Dining and Social Club for Time Travellers. And so the adventure begins as Louisa meets this odd group of people from different places and times in history. The members of this secret society start to mysteriously disappear and Louisa may be the only one that can help them. The book contains a very helpful illustrated guide to all the characters. We’ve also included an exclusive letter to Marmalade readers from the author.