Saturday, February 6, 2010
Review: The Christmas Doll by Elvira Woodruff
The Christmas Doll
Written By Elvira Woodruff
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (October 1, 2002)
Book Description: "Lucy and Glory are orphaned sisters with no real place to call home. Only their memories of a beautiful doll named Morning Glory brighten their bleak lives. One day, the girls find an old, battered doll that Glory senses is their beloved Morning Glory. But Morning Glory is no ordinary doll. And how she leads the girls to the most surprising turn of fortune makes for a heartwarming story that brims with love, hope, and the spirit of Christmas."
Vonze: 4 out of 5
This was a short and sweet little story I read for Christmas. I trade and read a wide variety of books for what I like to think of as my “novel research.” I do my best to read and keep up with the books that the publishing companies I’d like to be published at release. So, since this was a historical children’s story that many people recommended, and I think writing and publishing a historical children’s story would be awesome, I decided to check this title out.
The Christmas Doll could be described as a Charles Dickens-ish story with a female main character. Lucy and Glory’s parents are dead and they live in a workhouse. The book begins just slightly before they escape. As children living on the streets, their future looks really dim, until they discover they can trade items they find at the dump for food. The younger girl, Glory, finds a worn and muddy old doll at the dump, and immediately wants to keep it. During their time at the workhouse, the older girl, Lucy, would often tell Glory stories about what life was like when their parents were living. One of the stories included a doll they owned named “Morning Glory.” Glory immediately believes that the doll she found at the dump is “Morning Glory.” The older and wiser sister knows that they need food more than they need a doll, so she takes it to a doll shop. The doll shop owner agrees to buy the doll’s head since it’s in fair condition and, through a stroke of luck, decides to hire Lucy to sew hearts onto their new dolls because of the Christmas shopping rush.
The end of the book is very touching, selfless, and would be a good lesson on the true meaning of giving for a child.
With that said, however, I did have a few issues with the book. Several minor characters die at the beginning of the story. This may or may not be okay depending on the maturity level of the child. I could see an 11 or 12 year old reading this. I'm not sure it would hold a 9 to 10 year old's interest, unless they were a good independent reader.
Overall, this book made me feel very thankful that I’m not an orphan during the Victorian era. And it’s good to be thankful at Christmastime. Tweet