A Boy Called Christmas

Until A Boy Called Christmas, nobody knew that long ago, an "ordinary boy called Nikolas, living in the middle of nowhere, or the middle of Finland, doing nothing with magic except believing in it" would wind up as jolly old Saint Nick. A woodcutter's son living in the second-smallest cottage in Finland with scarcely a carved turnip doll to call his own, 11-year-old Nikolas is accustomed to making the best of rough circumstances. But when his father goes off on an elf-finding expedition and leaves him in the care of his evil, ancient aunt ("Hardly anyone lives to be forty-two"), Nikolas reaches his limit. He and the cottage mouse, Miika, who believes in cheese though he's never seen it, set off to the Far North to find his father and to see if the elves his father seeks are real. The journey is perilous and heartbreaking, but ultimately transforms Nikolas into a man who understands the flaws and frailty of humankind (not to mention elves, pixies and trolls).

Award-winning British author Matt Haig (To Be a Cat) writes with warmth, wit and irreverence. Young Nikolas is every bit as delightful as the ho-ho-ho-ing grownup he becomes, but his poignant humanity is what makes him truly lovable. Chris Mould's comical, appealingly scritchy black illustrations capture the magic of the Far North and the distinctive personalities of each character. Bonus: We learn that the reindeer Blixen has a sense of humor "[a]nd the thing he found really funny was weeing on people." A holiday--or anytime--classic is born. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Powered by: Xtenit