This is the perfect book to start Christmas reading with! It is Absolutely Delightful! A Father Christmas origin story with a wealth of humour, depth and adventure.
“An impossibility is just a possibility you don’t understand yet”
Before he was Father Christmas, Nikolas was just a little boy whose mother died and whose father left on a quest to find proof elves exist, leaving him with his atrocious aunt that treats him like garbage.
But Nikolas, the courageous boy that he is, will not stand still and wait for his father to come back home, especially since it’s been months and it doesn’t seem like that will happen any time soon.
Every middle-grade story should be as well-crafted as this one. Not only did this author create a character to whom any human being can relate and who is worthy of anyone’s time, but he developed some important themes.
“To lose someone you love is the very worst thing in the world. It creates an invisible hole that you feel you are falling down and will never end. People you love make the world real and solid and when they suddenly go away forever, nothing feels solid any more.”
It’s not only entertaining, it teaches you different lessons, one of them being that ‘‘we must never let fear be our guide,’’ or it will keep us from accomplishing all that we are capable of.
I was actually surprised by how dark it got at times. There is talk of death at various moments, and some characters are quite creepy—and here I am referring mostly to you strange, blood-thirsty pixie that creeped me out quite a bit.
The parts with the troll and the pixie weren’t memorable. Nikolas already has a large number of elves wanting his head, so why add these two creatures? But they do offer help in their own way, so they’re not all bad, just rather silly and hard to take seriously, even if they genuinely were eager to kill Nikolas.
“To see something, you have to believe in it. Really believe it. That’s the first elf rule. You can’t see something you don’t believe in. Now try your hardest and see if you can see what you have been looking for.”
Matt Haig is the G.R.R.Martin of children’s stories and he will rip your heart out and feed it to you for supper, all the while making you thank him for the experience. I think this is such an amazing middle grade read that teaches you about good and bad, love and friendship, and the power of believing in yourself and believing in magic.