Posts tagged ‘death in the family’

SPREADING GOOD CHEER EVERYWHERE

The Christmas Elf: Fun Christmas Stories for Kids

Written by Arnie Lightning

Tinsel is one of the longest-serving elves for Santa at the North Pole. This elf is notable for having the capability of spreading the spirit of Christmas everywhere he goes. For that reason, Santa has appointed him a special helper. Every year Tinsel is assigned to a child who feels despondent at Christmastime.

Readers are taken on a trip around the world to experience Tinsel’s successes.  A boy named Timothy whose father has passed away, a girl named Maria Luisa whose family will be unable to be with her this Christmas, and a boy in Chicago whose family never celebrates Christmas are included among those adventures. Tinsel uses his creativity to lull each of his clients and those around them into the true spirit of the holiday. Children who are experiencing separation, divorce, a new community and fears of alienation will feel a lot better after reading about Tinsel and his charges.

This is a delightful forty page book that will delight elementary school age children and warm the hearts of adults who read it. Good choice for a classroom or family holiday read aloud.

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PANDEMONIUM

Gabby Gibson: Middle School Detective

Written by Sharon Broomall

GabbyGibson,pic

The author has her pulse on the middle school audience. Gabby Gibson, the protagonist, is the perfect heroine. Gabby’s dad has passed away, but she follows in his footsteps as detective par excellence.

She is a seventh grader at Preston Middle School who experiences many of the problems that her young readers face. There is gossip among the girls, bullying, the nerds, those perceived to be the haves and the have-nots. The dialogue is funny and authentic. Readers will laugh and cry with the characters and their foibles. Student and adult characters share equally the laughter and the criticism.

Plot centers around the mystery of how the Panda mascot of Preston Middle School got his head cut off at an important soccer game, and how the money for the annual seventh grade dance went missing. When the dance is canceled by principal, Mr. Sauerbutts, Gabby kicks her detective skills into high gear. There are enough twists and turns to keep the plot interesting. Our detective thinks she has the answer, but discovers she was wrong. Will Gabby solve the mystery and save the dance? Does the Panda mascot find his head?

At just under two hundred pages, the book is a nice fit for readers ages nine and up. Just a suggestion, a few simple drawings might have made some of those hilarious scenes even more effective.

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