The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge Complete!

My first reading challenge was a success. I committed to reading 4 seasonal titles and ended up reading 7. Of course, 6 of them were short, so I almost felt like I was cheating a bit.

Here’s the list of books I read for the challenge:

Tumbleweed Christmas by Beverly Stowe McClure

Kevin’s Christmas by Liesbet Slegers

Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls illustrated by Veronica Vasylenko

Humbug A Christmas Carol by Lee Baker

Ricky’s Christmas Tree by Guido van Genechten

Main Street: ‘Tis the Season by Ann M. Martin

The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge was sponsored by The Christmas Spirit blog.

Main Street: ‘Tis the Season by Ann M. Martin

A tender, yet heartrending tale of the season can be found in Main Street: ‘Tis the Season by Ann M. Martin.

Christmas is coming to Camden Falls, but Ruby and Flora aren’t quite sure how to feel about it. Camden Falls looks like it came right out of a picture postcard during the Christmas season, but this is their first Christmas without their parents. Thankfully they’ve made lots of nice friends. But when Olivia and Nikki are dealing with troubles of their own, it might be up to Ruby, Flora and some other residents of town to make their Christmas bright.

I love reading seasonal stories, mainly because I am a Christmas fanatic. The author does a fine job of portraying small town America during the holiday season. Martin’s writing is so descriptive that you truly feel you’re right there walking along Main Street, down Aiken Avenue, and in the Row Houses where many of this small Massachusetts town live.

I have to admit to being on the fence about this story, though. There’s so much conflict that it’s a bit overwhelming at times. Olivia might have to leave Camden Falls because her parents both lost their jobs. Then there’s Nikki, whose happy that her abusive father has gone away, but she doesn’t know when or if he’ll return, and he hasn’t sent the family any money, so Christmas will be tight. On top of that, Ruby and Flora are coping with their first Christmas without their parents, and other residents of town have troubles of their own. There’s also the unusual visit of Aunt Allie from New York. Ruby and Flora’s aunt can be a bit prickly, to say the least.

While the book ends on a happy note, I had a difficult time plodding through all the misery to get there. In addition, I feel it’s important for parents to read this book first, because certain Christmas secrets are revealed that might ruin the magic for the young reader in their home.

I would like to read the previous two books in this series to see if I feel differently about Martin’s Main Street books. This one just didn’t do it for me.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:Scholastic Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10:0439868815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439868815
  • SRP:  $6.99 (paperback)

I purchased a copy of this book from a Scholastic Book Fair two years ago. I received no monetary compensation of any kind to provide my review.


This is a book I read for The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge. To see my original list visit here. I have read 7 books for this challenge, and this completes my list.

The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge 2011

The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge is hosted by Michelle,  The True Book Addict, over at her The Christmas Spirit blog. I don’t usually participate in reading challenges because my review schedule is so busy. I can’t however, pass this one up.  It’s about Christmas after all–something I love as much as the kids.

I’m choosing the Mistletoe level – 2 to 4 books. I think I can manage that along with everything else I have to read on my other blogs. The four books I plan to read are:

  • Deck the Halls by Veronica Vasylenko (Padded Board Book)
  • Jingle Bells by Veronica Vasylenko (Padded Board Book)
  • Kevin’s Christmas by Liesbet Slegers (picture book)
  • Ricky’s Christmas Tree by Guido Van Genechten (Picture book)

Since these are short books, I am going to toss in ‘Tis the Season (Main St. #3) by Ann M. Martin. I bought it at a book fair a couple of years ago and would love to get to it.

UPDATE–Added these books that I’ll be reviewing in December:

Humbug A Christmas Carol by Lee Baker

Holy Stable: Celebrate the Miracle by Heidi Hanseen

Also, for the moms that might be checking in here, I just finished reading The Nine Lives of Christmas by Sheila Roberts. I love unique stories set during Christmas, and this one definitely fits the bill.

Hope you enjoy the upcoming holiday season!