This 2015 novel by Matt Haig tells the true story of Father Christmas. Fact. Such is the conviction with which this story is told. As soon as one opens the novel’s rather charming front cover, it becomes entirely possible to suspend disbelief and lose yourself in the story, which is rather fortunate as this is a tale about realising the possibilities open to us if we only believe. It’s a story of magic, of hope and yes, of Christmas.
Haig tells the story of Nikolas, a very poor boy with a very bright future. Little Nikolas is down on his luck, but as he embarks of the biggest quest of his life to find his father, he’s about to discover he has the capacity and the destiny to bring ‘joy to the world’. Why? Because little Nikolas is going to grow up to be the man everyone recognises as ‘Father Christmas’.
A Boy Called Christmas is a Christmas origins story with a twist. Present here is a realistic childish curiosity about what Father Christmas, St Nicholas or Santa Claus as he is severally known was like as a child. It’s a curiosity which was born from the mind of Haig’s own son’s mind, but one which I’m sure that many a child, from 1 to 92 would have wondered about and this novel answers that question.
This book has some unexpectedly and yet brilliantly executed poignant moments of pain and sadness suffered by the young Nikolas Christmas. Here is a child searching for a part of himself which will change his life forever and yet, this is also a story which will uplift the hearts and minds of readers both young and old.
There’s a whole cast of familiar characters including elves, pixies and reindeer and lashings of snowy adventures to keep you enthralled as Nikolas tries to discover who he is. This truly is the Christmas spirit captured within the pages of one of the most refreshing festive reads I’ve settled down to in years. Highly recommended for Christmas loving kids of any age!
Watch the book trailer for A Boy Called Christmas…