Overview / 简介:
|From the late Rebecca Caudill, author of The Best-Loved Doll and Tree of Freedom, comes the heartrending story of a young Appalachian boy, born mute, who speaks for the first time ever to a young couple and their newborn baby, who have taken refuge from a blizzard in a nearby church. Full color.|
From Organization / 国外机构评价:
|You’ll dampen a dozen handkerchiefs before finishing this story about a young Appalachian boy, born mute, who speaks for the first time on Christmas morning to a young couple who have taken shelter from a blizzard in a nearby church, and the baby born to them there.|
Foreign Customer Review / 国外客户评价:
|This is such a gentle, old-fashioned little book that it is a small miracle it's still around. It's about Jamie, a mute boy who lives with his sisters and widowed father in the hollows of Appalachia. The boy feels like he can't do anything and isn't special in any way, until Christmastime, when a teacher offers him a chance to be a shepherd in the school Christmas pageant. This is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to him. But then the pageant is cancelled because of a blizzard, destroying his dream.
In the end, a poor, traveling couple appear. The woman is about to have a baby, and they are looking for any place, even a barn, to spend the night, but so far no one has had any room for them (Sound familiar?) Jamie's family gives them shelter, the woman has her baby, and finally Jamie gets his chance to be a shepherd -- he shows up in costume to bring the new baby a gift, and to speak his very first words. A Christmas miracle!
One of the things I love most about this book is the fact that Jamie is far from a perfect little boy, but the author obviously loves him and makes us love him and recognize that his anger and tantrums come from frustration over his handicap. No one yells at Jamie and tells him to behave. They find ways to help him behave. There is a Christian spirit of love and generosity coursing through Rebecca Caudill's portrait of this child.
An earlier reviewer was offended by how "unrealistic" the ending seemed. I don't think that's really true. Early in the book, Jamie's father talks to a doctor, who tells him that Jamie is physically capable of speaking, but he needs help learning to do so, help the family can not afford. Jamie's inability to speak seems to be more a matter of trauma (his mother died giving birth to him) than anything physical, and so it does not seem remotely unrealistic for him to be healed when something in his life gives him a sense of importance. He simply has to speak to this miraculous child!
But more than that, this is a Christmas story. And if we can't make room in a Christmas story for miracles, when can we?
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