When Molar Alan and his older brother, Aaron, fill out their Christmas wish lists front and back, the Santa at the mall informs the boys they won’t be getting anything they asked for. Instead, he says, they will receive everything they never wanted. This isn’t your garden-variety Santa, he’s Dr. Chris Ringle, a pediatric oncologist, and he enlists the brothers as Santa’s elves at the children’s ward for the holidays.
Each boy is charged with a very special assignment. Aaron will befriend Madhu, a fast-talking boy on an organ transplant list who, though not Christian, has an insatiable curiosity and wants to learn all about the holiday. Madhu is determined to be a wise man in the hospital pageant, despite the objections to his interpretation of the role.
Molar’s task is considerably harder, as he attempts to help a lonely little girl named Katrina. Katrina’s surgery has left her scarred, and she has shut herself away from everyone. But it is through her that the true spirit of Christmas will touch the lives of all those around her in a way none of them would have foreseen.
I rarely read Christmas books, but this year I thought It’d be a good idea to start a tradition so I picked this one hoping for the best and fortunately I did the right choice with Paper Bag Christmas.
I wasn’t sure I’d like the story considering that the main setting is a hospital, but as the story started to develop it made more sense. From the very beginning the story feels very real: a typical family in a mall for Christmas and the traditional letter from the children to Santa expecting the very best gifts available… for children.
The transition from the traditional to the not so typical is smooth and the introduction of the new setting and characters is great. Dr. Ringle and the rest of the staff and children from the hospital are very likable with distinct personalities, even those who are a little bit grumpy (a.k.a Katrina).
The story is filled with love, hope, and faith, interwoven in a way that results so pleasing to the reader. There’s a message of great value in the words and actions of the children that is useful for both kids and adult alike.
You must be ready to grab some tissues at the end of the story. This is a short book with an amazing story that can be read alone or aloud with the rest of the family. This edition is a beautiful re-release with an updated cover illustration and dust jacket.
I received this book from Hachette Book Group in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.