The Man of the House at Huffington Row: A Christmas Story

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9780152015800: The Man of the House at Huffington Row: A Christmas Story

It is Christmas Eve--a night for miracles--but for young Francis O'Shea, there is no magic in the air. Ever since his father passed away, Francis has spent every free moment working and helping his mother. Still, when his little sister, Katherine Mary, loses what she cherishes most, Francis does what little he can to lift her spirits. And on Christmas morning, he wakes to find a miracle both he and his sister can believe in. This moving original story, set during the Depression, will rekindle in all the hope and love at the heart of Christmas.

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Ages 5^-8. A goopily sentimental holiday tale. Francis Xavier O'Shea sells his three-penny newspapers and delivers the laundry his mother washed and pressed on a snowy Christmas Eve. Everyone knows him, and knows his little sister, Katherine Mary, who has wandered off again. Wrapped in their dead father's bright red scarf, she hides in the cathedral in front of the creche, touching the figures and mourning. Francis finds her there, and when she is startled by the stern choirmaster, she drops the angel she is holding and breaks it. The choirmaster forbids her to come back to church and demands payment for the angel figurine; Katherine Mary runs home, losing the precious red scarf on the way. That night, Fran makes a creche scene out of snow, but he doesn't get to finish it before the cold drives him indoors. Through the night, the rest of the neighborhood comes by to make snow sheep and snow angels, and on Christmas morning, when Katherine Mary rushes out to see, she finds the snowchild wrapped in Da's red scarf. The villain is pretty unlikely, but Fran's care for his sister is sweet, and the illustrations make a Depression-era neighborhood look homey and comforting. GraceAnne A. DeCandido

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Barrett, Mary Brigid
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers (1998)
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