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Book Club – December

For Mentors

The 13th Gift: A True Story of a Christmas Miracle

By: Joanne Huist Smith

For readers of Richard Paul Evans and Greg Kincaid comes The 13th Gift, a heartwarming Christmas story about how a random act of kindness transformed one of the bleakest moments in a family’s history into a time of strength and love.

After the unexpected death of her husband, Joanne Huist Smith had no idea how she would keep herself together and be strong for her three children–especially with the holiday season approaching. But 12 days before Christmas, presents begin appearing on her doorstep with notes from their “True Friends.” As the Smiths came together to solve the mystery of who the gifts were from, they began to thaw out from their grief and come together again as a family. This true story about the power of random acts of kindness will warm the heart, a beautiful reminder of the miracles of Christmas and the gift of family during the holiday season.

For Ages 13-17

The Afterlife of Holly Chase 

by Cynthia Hand  

Before I Fall meets “bah, humbug” in this contemporary YA reimagining of A Christmas Carol from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand.

On Christmas Eve five years ago, seventeen-year-old Holly Chase was visited by three Ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways. She didn’t. And then she died.

Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge—as their latest Ghost of Christmas Past. So far, Holly’s afterlife has been miserable. But this year’s Scrooge is different. This year’s Scrooge might change everything…

The Afterlife of Holly Chase is a witty, poignant, and insightful novel about life, love, and seizing second (or third) chances, perfect for readers who loved Before I Fall or Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares.

For Ages 9-12

The Girl Who Saved Christmas

By: Matt Haig

 “If somewhere in the afterlife Roald Dahl met Charles Dickens and they cooked up a new Christmas tale, it couldn’t have much on this fleet, verbally rambunctious, heart-stealing follow-up to A Boy Called Christmas.”– The New York Times

Fans of A Boy Called Christmas will rejoice at this whimsical story of the first child to ever be gifted a Christmas present!

Amelia Wishart was the first child ever to receive a Christmas present. It was her Christmas spirit that gave Santa the extra boost of magic he needed to make his first trip around the world. But now Amelia is in trouble.

When her mother falls ill, she is sent to the workhouse to toil under cruel Mr. Creeper. For a whole year, Amelia scrubs the floors and eats watery gruel, without a whiff of kindness to keep her going. It’s not long before her hope begins to drain away.

Meanwhile, up at the North Pole, magic levels dip dangerously low as Christmas approaches, and Santa knows that something is gravely wrong. With the help of his trusty reindeer, a curious cat, and Charles Dickens, he sets out to find Amelia, the only girl who might be able to save Christmas. But first Amelia must learn to believe again. . . .

“Matt Haig has an empathy for the human condition, the light and the dark of it, and he uses the full palette to build his excellent stories.” –Neil Gaiman, Newbery-winning author of The Graveyard Book

“With a little bit of naughty and a lot of nice,this Christmastime yarn is a veritable sugarplum.” —Kirkus Reviews

For Ages 6-8

Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light

by Apryl Stott 

A little girl and her friend Bear learn the true meaning of selfless kindness in this sweet, stunningly illustrated debut picture book.

Bear is sad. All the other animals think he’s mean because he’s so big. But his human friend, Coco, offers to help him. Coco shares her grandmother’s advice: “When life gets dark as winter’s night, share some kindness, bring some light.”

They decide to bake cookies to “share some kindness” and make lanterns to “bring some light.” But when the cookies and lanterns don’t work, they must look for another way to win over the other animals. And while they’re at it, Coco and Bear just might discover that kindness is a gift that only comes from the heart.