Title: Mary's Son: A Tale of Christmas
Author: Darryl Nyznyk
Format: Hard cover
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion
From Goodreads: "Mary’s Son is a modern tale of the fears and passions of youth overcome by the wonder of the real Christmas story. Eleven-year-old Sarah Stone is lonely. She lives in a mansion amidst butlers, nannies, housekeepers, and a father who is too busy for her. She is bright, beautiful, and angry at the world."
My opinion: I thought this was a very touching book, and a very cute story for kids. It was a quick read, only 170 pages, but that was plenty of time to get the point across. The events of the book take place in the days before Christmas. In the first part of the book we get to know Jared, the 13-year old street kid from the wrong side of the tracks, whose father disappeared on Christmas Eve the year before, and Sarah, the 11-year old spoiled rich girl, who lives in the mansion on the hill, who lost her mother when she was only 5 years old to a drunk driver. She has everything she could possibly want, except for any type of affection in her life. Her father is too busy to have anything to do with her, and the servants merely tolerate her. Enter Nicholas, who comes to her house to apply for the job of her "nanny", even though the job hasn't been posted yet. The housekeeper takes an instant dislike to him, but Sarah is curious about this odd little man who can make umbrellas appear out of thin air and who says he is the real Santa, and she begs her father to let him stay. This sets in motion a course that will change her life, as well as Jared's, for better or worse.
I loved the message of this book, and I especially like how Santa got his amazing powers from God and through prayer. When Nicholas meets Sarah and Jared, they are both so jaded that they don't believe in Santa at all, and they are questioning their belief in God as well. When everything comes to a head one night, Nicholas whisks the kids away to Bethlehem on the night of Jesus' birth so they can witness the miracle themselves. I think this would be a great book to discuss with your kids at Christmastime.
In summary, I really enjoyed this book and think it has a great message, for adults and kids alike. :D