On Christmas Eve, Maria goes to the toy store with her mother. When she sees a ragged old man, she quickly runs back to her mom because she finds the man scary. So the two go home. Later that day, Maria finds a toy angel with no wings in her attic. She asks her grandmother why the angel doesn’t have wings, and her grandmother tells her it is because even angels need to earn their wings by doing a good deed.
The next day, Maria walks outside and sees the old man again. She learns that he is homeless, and doesn’t have a place to sleep or food to eat, even on Christmas day. Maria goes home and takes some food. She tells her mother that she is feeding the pigeons, but it is food for the homeless man. When Maria comes back home, she finds that the angel grew a pair of wings because of her good deed.
BTSYA / Teen Reader (15):
This book has a very good message: be kind to other people. Maria’s small act of kindness to the homeless man ends the book on a positive note, where everyone is happy and grateful. In addition, although the novel is about Christmas, it doesn’t go into religion. It is a great book for anyone to read, whether at Christmas or any other day.
Children will easily connect with Maria and her feelings about the homeless man she meets AND also they will also connect with the homeless man and his loneliness and hard circumstances. This is an exceptional book for talking about empathy and could even be the start of an action plan for community service.
Christmas is the backdrop for this story about homelessness, kindness, and gratitude.
Even though the backdrop is Christmas, this is a story that can be shared at any time. Maria's emotions and her experience with the homeless man create opportunities to talk about fear, compassion, empathy, and last, but not least, overcoming hard emotions.
9 and Up
2 to 9
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 15
This is a buy if you like collecting holiday stories with positive messages.
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