Christmas is coming, and it's Karen's favourite time of year! Her parents (who are divorced) have sorted it out so that Karen and her brother Andrew can celebrate Christmas with both families. She's even going to experience Hanukkah with her best friend Nancy! Now she can concentrate on singing Christmas songs, doing Christmas crafts, and making her Christmas list. But when she learns that Nannie is in the hospital, it doesn't feel right to be celebrating. All Karen wants for Christmas is for her family to be at home and healthy. Will her Christmas wish come true?
I'm pretty sure that this book was one of my first introductions to Hanukkah, at least at a level about what it means for kids and families. Karen (who can sometimes work my last nerve) is a character that I find to be easy to relate to here; she's excited about Christmas but worried about her step-Grandmother, and there's that awful feeling that things aren't going to be right for Christmas. As usual, I do think that the adults in her life should have talked things out with her a bit more, particularly around her feelings of survivor's guilt (even though she had nothing to do with Nannie's accident), but (spoiler alert) everything turned out okay in the end.
(Also, the scene that's shown on the cover totally never happens. Nancy and Karen give each other their presents at different times. But it does match up with what Karen and Nancy are wearing in the story. And Nancy (on the left) is rocking a dress that I totally would have seen on people at the time.)
For a more in-depth take on the book, check out the BSC Revisited.
Find it at Amazon.
Read it with:
Mallory's Christmas Wish by Ann M. Martin
Karen's Angel by Ann M. Martin
With You and Without You by Ann M. Martin