Thursday, November 6, 2014

Book Review: The Christmas Village by Melissa Goodwin

The Christmas Village
By Melissa Goodwin
Publisher: Melissa Goodwin
Published: Oct. 20, 2011

Amazon Synopsis:

The Christmas Village was the winner of the 2013 Blogger Book Fair READER'S CHOICE AWARD for children's action/adventure.

Age Level: 8 - 13 | Grade Level: 3 - 7
When Jamie Reynolds comes to his grandparents' Vermont home for Christmas, he just wants things to go back to the way they were before his dad disappeared. Time and again he is drawn to Grandma's miniature Christmas Village, where he imagines that life is perfect. Late one night, the village comes to life before Jamie's eyes, and his fantasy of escaping into it becomes very real indeed.

He discovers that the village is called Canterbury, where the year is 1932. Jamie becomes fast friends with Kelly and Christopher Pennysworth, and is taken in by Ida, who runs the local boarding house. But he also makes a dangerous enemy of the mysterious and menacing Jim Gordon, whose return to town is nothing but trouble. 

As Jamie desperately races against time to find his way back home, he is suddenly faced with a terrifying choice: to go ahead with his plan to leave, or to stay and help his friends, at the risk of never going home again.

The Christmas Village is an adventure the whole family will love, filled with suspense, secrets and surprises to the very last page.

Book Links

 My Thoughts:

Jamie Reynolds was devastated when his father ran away from him and his mother after doing something illegal. Shunned by his friends, talked about behind his back, he wanted things to go back the way they were before his dad left. His mother decided to take him to jis grandparents for Christmas where he was shown her precious miniature Christmas village of Canterbury Village - a scene from 1932. He fantasized about what it would be like to live in this quiet little village.

One night when Jamie fell asleep on the couch, he woke up around midnight and heard voices. Following the voices, he found that the skaters on the ice pond in the miniature village had come to life! In his attempt to help save the girl who had broken through the ice, he found himself drawn into the village and that he had escaped his life was now a reality.

I enjoyed the way the characters of the town of Canterbury were introduced in the story. Their characters were well-developed. They were interesting people themselves with interesting characters and lives.

The plot twists that came up for Jamie to solve were appropriate for middle grade readers. They were unexpected and were not predictable. You couldn’t say “I knew that was going to happen”.

There was a lot of exciting action and suspense in the book that will hold the interest of middle graders. Even as an adult reader I didn’t want to put the book down.
I loved the old time feel to the town of Canterbury. With a look back to the depression era, The Christmas Village brought back the old time magical feel that Christmas used to have before all the electronic gadgetry brings now.

I found the resolution to Jamie’s dilemma of how to get home cleverly thought out and executed.

I absolutely loved The Christmas Village. It’s one of those favourites that’ll be one my bookshelves for years to come. I gave this book 5 stars out of 5. A great read for everyone in the family!

Thank you to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Melissa Ann Goodwin grew up in Andover,MA,where she spent a happy childhood living in her imagination and writing stories in her head. It was only a matter of time before those stories spilled out onto the written page. The Christmas Village and its sequel, Return to Canterbury, are the culmination of a lifelong dream to write the sort of books that she loved to read as a child.

Goodwin has been published extensively in children’s and national magazines and won an top award for her poetry in the 2010 Writer's Digest National Poetry Competition. Her first book, The Christmas Village, won the 2013 Book Blogger Fair Award for Action/Adventure

Author Links
Website  *  Twitter  *  Goodreads

Look for the sequel Return to Canterbury now available on Amazon. Check it out here

1 comment :

  1. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed the book! Thank you for posting this lovely review. Warm regards, Melissa Ann Goodwin