Book Review: Christmas Beyond the Box By Josh Langston

The holidays mean many things to many people. “Christmas Beyond the Box” takes that notion a little farther, and provides some enchanting looks at the season from some very interesting perspectives. Suitable for all ages, there’s sure to be a tale worth re-telling in this collection for many Christmases to come.

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I liked this book that contained 6 short stories. They were mostly events that people would associate with the holidays, but with a twist. I wouldn’t necessarily say they put me in the Christmas spirit, but they didn’t make me go bah humbug either.

  • A Time For Giving–The Binderbergs are excited to let the town cut down their big tree so it can be decorated at the Rockfeller Center. Before the town knows it, tree related incidents keep popping up, causing one cop to joke that the tree is haunted. I thought it was cute who’s really acting mischievous.
  • The List–My favorite line: “Somebody had to laugh at the geeky kid–it was a rule of the kid cosmos.” Due to the Translation Effect, Toby finds Santa’s liar and  looks to see if he’s on the nice or naughty list. His dad had created the invention (time machine). This story was great with the setting details; I could picture the liar and his dad’s work space vividly.
  • Love Story at Gate 6B–Flight 373 is delayed because no clear landing. I couldn’t really connect with any characters because no names were given. An older gentleman waits on a woman (I’m assuming his wife), then they go home.
  • Behavior Modifications–This story was pretty cool. Casey thinks his new mean teacher Ms. Chantre is turning people into caged animals. I don’t really know what it had to do with Christmas, but it was my favorite one. I loved the suspense of Casey’s friends nor principal nor parents believing a word he says. It’s only a matter of time before Ms. Chantre gets angry and comes after him. I liked the build-up and the twists at the end.
  • Vanishing Skills–For the holidays, a student has a school project–interview someone. Amy attempts to interview Malachi in the park; he made magic lamps before he retired. I’m talking the Aladdin or I Dream of Genie types.
  • No Marbles This Year–This was another one of my favorites. I loved the drama involved. Jedidiah is 10 years old and enjoys spending time with his family for Christmas, especially his granddad. The granddad gave out the same snow globes to everyone; a year later he passes away. Jedidiah doesn’t understand the true meaning of the gift until adulthood.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

P.S. This book review is a part of The Christmas Blog Event I did with L.M. Sherwin. It’s a day late, but that’s better than never hee hee.

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