Saturday, March 9, 2013
The Christmas Star by Ace Collins - REVIEW
Robert Reed gave his life for his country in the early days of World War II. His sacrifice was honored when his widow and son were presented with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Each Christmas the final decoration Madge Reed hangs on the family s tree is that medal. Rather than being a symbol of honor for young Jimmy Reed that shining star represents loss, pain, and suffering. Yet a letter delivered by one of Robert s fellow soldiers and a mystery posed in that letter put a father s sacrifice and faith into perspective and bring new meaning to not just the star hanging on the Christmas tree but the events of the very first Christmas. Then, when least expected, a Christmas miracle turns a final bit of holiday sadness into a joy that Jimmy has never known.
Jimmy Reed is a teenager, still grieving over his father's death after he's been gone for three years. This has put a heavy burden on his mother and they don't have much money to work with now. Even though Jimmy's father died a hero and was awarded a Medal of Honor, one they hang last on the Christmas tree each year, he still doesn't feel any better because of it. In fact, it makes him even angrier. What's worse is his dad is gone and the rest of the soldiers are coming home, which leaves Jimmy choosing to hang out with the wrong kids and getting into trouble because of his anger.
I like stories that take place during this time, yet sometimes it's not always happy such as in this book, and as I said above, Jimmy decided to get into trouble with some bad kids/the wrong crowd, rather than try to get over his father's death in a more constructive way, but at that time, was there really such a thing as counseling available back then? Not really.
A soldier brings Jimmy a letter before Christmas and he learns how his father really died, which brings great joy to him. Christmas now has a new meaning for him, and he changes his life accordingly.
This book has a strong Christian theme, too, which did make it go well with the season.
For myself, being female, this book was hard for me to get into, and it wasn't one I really enjoyed all that much because I couldn't get into it, but I think others will like this story a lot more than I did only because it's something I usually don't read. I do recommend this book, but for 'me', it was just one I was not crazy over. However, just because "I" had a hard time getting into this book does not mean you won't. I would still rate this book a good 4-star book as it will appeal to a large audience. In this instance, it's 'just me'.
I believe this book will appeal more to young boys/teens/male adults, perhaps more so than women. I received this book for FREE from Abington Press through NetGalley in exchange to read and write a review about it. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but of my own honest opinion. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
About the Author:
Ace Collins is the writer of more than sixty books, including several bestsellers: Stories behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, Stories behind the Great Traditions of Christmas, The Cathedrals, and Lassie: A Dog's Life. Based in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, He continues to publish several new titles each year, including a series of novels, the first of which is Farraday Road. Ace has appeared on scores of television shows, including CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News, CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and Entertainment Tonight.
Posted by Laurie Carlson at 1:18 AM