Clementine for Christmas
Scholastic Press, Scholastic Inc., 2015
This is the story of three middle school kids from very different backgrounds and who would never associate with each other at school, but come together to make Christmas a magical time.
*Josie, very shy at school and hiding her grief over her father’s untimely illness and death 5 years earlier, she goes to the Pediatric Ward of the local hospital to entertain the sick children. She looks forward to the Christmas Festival every year but it looks like there’s no one to organize it this year. Will the Festival go on?
*Clementine, Josie’s dog, “was a mix, but she was mostly Shiba Inu, with a tan coat, a creamy white belly, soft pointed ears, and a fluffy curlicue of a tale.” Pg 4 Clementine has an uncanny ability to know which human around her needs the most support.
*Oscar Madison, a star athlete who only thinks about himself hides a tumultuous home life with bluster and a quick temper. After getting into trouble at school he has to do community service and ‘volunteer’ in the Peds Ward at the hospital.
*Gabby Chavez, stylish, outgoing and able to charm everybody, hides a her epilepsy from everyone for fear they would no longer be her friend. To her shame, Josie and Oscar accidently find out about her illness and she is desperate to do anything to keep them from telling their school mates.
Somehow these three different kids get together and learn to not only share their secrets and find out what it means to be a friend, but they are able to pull off the annual Christmas Festival.
I enjoyed this little story and really can’t think of a thing I didn’t like about the book. The characters are well developed and believable. The problems the kids suffer from are real but the story is not weighed down by them. Instead, the focus is on the kids learning that problems are a part of every day life and can be worked through with the help of good friends.
Rating 4 out of 5 paws
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