By William Hazelgrove
Publisher: Koehler Books
Published: Aug. 1, 2014
George Kronenfeldt is an unemployed engineer with one shot to keep his daughters belief in Santa intact. When Megan tells him the only way she will believe in Santa is if she can videotape him and then tells her fourth grade class she will prove the existence of Santa Claus by posting her video to YouTube, George realizes he must become the Real Santa. He devises a plan to land nine reindeer on his roof and go down his chimmney, hiring a broken down movie director who eventually has him funding a full scale production that bankrupts him and and threatens his marriage. When George goes to find the Real Santa to help him, the line between what is real and magic is crossed. Real Santa is a funny heartwarming story of parenthood gone wrong and illuminates what lengths parents will go to keep their children happy.
Praise for Real Santa
STARRED REVIEW BOOKLIST
"If somebody doesn't make a movie out of this book, there's something wrong with the world. This could have been played as an out-and-out slapstick comedy, but instead the author approaches the story like a character study: a portrait of a man with the best intentions in the world watching those intentions collide with reality. It's a steamroller of a story, starting small, with George's idea, and getting bigger and bigger as George tries to put the elements together, as his obsession takes him further and further away from reality. Beautifully done." ~David Pitts Booklist
"The author marries the everyday dramas found in the novels of Tom Perrotta and Nick Hornby to the high camp of Carl Hiaasen or Dave Barry. Adults looking for a funny holiday-themed tale that doesn't lose its sense of wonder in the face of realism will find a treat here. A lovingly crafted comedy about the madness that fatherhood inspires." ~Kirkus Reviews
Best-selling author Hazelgrove (e.g., Ripples; Tobacco Sticks) captures the human need to believe in something good. This book will satisfy readers looking for a happy Christmas story. ~Library Journal
"Hazelgrove's lively improbable narrative will appeal to the readers in the mood for holiday fiction." ~Publishers Weekly
George Kronenfeldt loses his job just a couple of weeks before Christmas. To make things worse, he finds out that his daughter’s teacher has been telling her class that Santa is not real. He doesn’t want his daughter to lose the magic of Christmas yet. But now Megan says the only way she’ll believe in Santa is if she can video tape him and post the video to YouTube.
George goes to ridiculous lengths to make this happen for his daughter, nearly bankrupting himself and threatening his marriage. Quite a number of unexpected mishaps occur along the way making for a look at the crazy things parents will do to keep their children happy.
I liked that the protagonist was able to reconnect with the children from his previous marriage whose belief in Santa he had destroyed at the same age that Megan was. I liked the growth in George’s character in relation to all of his children throughout the story.
I don’t know much about reindeer, but I appreciated the humour that the author inserted into the story with them. I can just visualize the look of the yard the next day. Oh boy!
I liked the pace of the book. It was neither too fast or too slow. Though the book is about Santa, I would not consider it a children’s book, but would put it at least in the young adult category. There is some mild to moderate profanity in it. Other than that it is quite clean.
Real Santa was a pleasure to read. Anyone who loves stories about family and Christmas should enjoy this book. I gave it a rating of 4 stars out of 5.
Thank you to the publishers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion is not required. All thoughts are my own.
Author William Hazelgrove
William Elliott Hazelgrove is the best-selling author of eight novels, Ripples, Tobacco Sticks, Mica Highways, Rocket Man, The Pitcher, Real Santa and the forthcoming Jackpine and The Pitcher 2. His books have received starred reviews in Publisher Weekly,Kirkus and have been selected as Book of the Month Selections, Junior Library Guild Selections, ALA Editors Choice Awards and optioned for the movies. He was the Ernest Hemingway Writer in Residence where he wrote in the attic of Ernest Hemingway's birthplace. He has written articles and reviews for USA Today and other publications. He has been the subject of interviews in NPR's All Things Considered along with features in The New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Richmond Times Dispatch, USA Today, People, Channel 11, NBC, WBEZ, WGN. His most recent novel, The Pitcher is a Junior Library Guild Selection and was chosen Book of the Year by Books and Authors. net. His next book Jackpine will be out Spring 2014 with Koehler Books. A follow up novel Real Santa will be out fall of 2014. He runs a political cultural blog, The View From Hemingway's Attic.
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