A Mother-Daughter Review of A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

Book Review, Middle Grade
A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig. Middle grade novel about a boy named Nikolas becoming Father Christmas. Good books for kids ages 8-12.

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig. Middle grade novel about a boy named Nikolas becoming Father Christmas. Good books for kids ages 8-12.

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

Age Range: 8 – 12 years | Grade Level: 3 – 7 | Hardcover: 240 pages | Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (November 1, 2016)


About A Boy Called Christmas

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig. Middle grade novel about Santa Claus as a child and how he came to be Father Christmas.Before there was Santa Claus, there was a young boy who believed in the impossible. . . . Lemony Snicket meets Elf in this warmhearted Christmas caper.

Eleven-year-old Nikolas—nicknamed “Christmas”—has received only one toy in his life: a doll carved out of a turnip. But he’s happy with his turnip doll, because it came from his parents, who love him. Then one day his father goes missing, and Nikolas must travel to the North Pole to save him.

Along the way, Nikolas befriends a surly reindeer, bests a troublesome troll, and discovers a hidden world of enchantment in the frozen village of Elfhelm. But the elves of Elfhelm have troubles of their own: Christmas spirit and goodwill are at an all-time low, and Nikolas may be the only person who can fix things—if only he can reach his father before it’s too late. . . .

Sparkling with wit and warmth, A Boy Called Christmas is a cheeky new Christmas classic-in-the-making from acclaimed author Matt Haig and illustrator Chris Mould.


Find the Book

Amazon | Goodreads | Kobo | Book Depository


About the Author

MATT HAIG is an award-winning author whose novels for children and adults have been translated into 25 languages. His children’s books have won the Smarties Gold Medal, the Alex Award, The Blue Peter Book of the Year, and been nominated several times for the Carnegie Medal and the Waterstones Book Prize. He lives in Brighton with his wife and two children.


Praise for A Boy Called Christmas

“Like stockings hung by the fire, this spellbinding opus may well become a yuletide tradition.”  —Kirkus Reviews
“Matt Haig has written the most evergreen, immortal Christmas story to be published for decades. Future generations will receive the same comfort and joy from A Boy Called Christmas that they derive from mince pies, snowmen, and creamy liqueurs.” —Stephen Fry, Actor and Comedian
“The Christmas book of the year.”—The Sun
A Boy Called Christmas delivers an utter blast of joy.” — Herald
“A new festive classic”—Mail on Sunday
“Like enjoying the warmth of a good fire on a cold day. […]Chris Mould’s brilliant line drawings inject rich humor into this gentle, affecting story, perfect for Christmas in every way.” — Independent

“Matt Haig puts the Happy back into Christmas.” —Jeanette Winterson, award-winning author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit


Our Thoughts on A Boy Called Christmas

Miss K’s Review (8-year-old)

This book is about when Nikolas was a little boy and the life he had. I liked the story a lot. I thought it was kind of weird that the elves weren’t happy and they were pretty much sad or angry. Blitzen was really funny when he goes up flying with Nikolas and he holds his tinkle in. When they see a person, he pees on them and they think it’s raining. Other reindeer think Blitzen is funny too.

My favorite part of the book was when Blitzen peed on Nikolas’s aunt and she freaks out.

Some parts of the book were sad, so people who like sad stories or adventure stories would like this book. People who like Santa or the Christmas holiday will also like the book.



Dena’s Review (Mom)

Nikolas is a young boy with a good heart and a talent for giving. Circumstances force him to go searching for his lost father, leading him on an epic adventure. He learns about himself, kindness, magic, honesty, and goodness.

I liked this book. My kids liked the book. A Boy Called Christmas has so many beautiful parts where my kids and I got swept up in the story. We got lost in the story and kept reading long after bedtime.

But it was SO sad. Nikolas doesn’t have a lot of happiness in his life, and there are several times when he thinks he will die (and accepts it). If I could change anything about the story, it would be to cheer it up.

In spite of the sadness that persisted throughout the book, I still liked it a lot. The pages are loaded with adventure, magic, and friendship. I loved the way things fell into place for Nikolas, teaching him the skills he would later combine when he decides to take on the role of Santa Claus.

My kids especially loved the funny parts of the book. They also loved the magic in the story. Every time something happened that they associate with Santa (like Nikolas meeting Blitzen), they would start yelling theories and predictions about the story.

Verdict: A great book to read at Christmas time. The magic and goodness in it make up for the sad parts.

Content: Violence, some scary parts, and some sad parts.

Source: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher.



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  • Reply
    December 27, 2016 at 4:45 am

    This sounds like a really adorable and cute Christmas read. I especially like that the characters are well developed and it is so good for the season. Glad you were able to enjoy it so much!

    My recent post: http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2016/12/apple-banana-smoothie-recipe.html

    • Reply
      Dena at Batch of Books
      December 28, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      Thanks! It was perfect to read at Christmas time. I’m thinking I need to look up the author’s other books now, too.

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