For the last Monday reading post I decided to do a Christmas theme! Lately I have been getting into the holiday spirit and thought it would be a good idea to read some Christmas books.
The first book I read is called “The Beautiful Christmas Tree”by Charlotte Zolotow. This is such a cute book. I would assign it to mostly middle school students or read it to elementary students. It is a 4.0 reading level. It’s about an older guy, Mr. Crockett, that moves into a run down house in a neighborhood that is full of wealthier people. During Christmas time, everyone has their houses decorated and their Christmas tress up but Mr. Crockett doesn’t decorate his house with anything fancy. The neighbors look down on him because he doesn’t have a fancy Christmas tree and even skip his house when they go out caroling. One day, he goes to the flower store and buys an old pine that is in horrible shape. It needs a lot of care and attention but Mr. Crockett doesn’t care. He says, “Beauty is as beauty does.” He plants it in a spot in front of his house and nurtures it for the next couple of years. His neighbors think he is crazy but they don’t know that Mr. Crockett has a secret; all living things need love. Finally one Christmas, his tree is grown and full of life. Birds love it and make it their home. For Christmas that year, they don’t skip his house while caroling, but stop and stand in front of the tree and sing!:)
The next book I read is “The Innkeeper’s Daughter” by Jill Briscoe. This book is about a little girl named Keturah who was born with crippled hands. Her father owns an Inn and is always busy with his work. Kids in the village always make fun of Keturah’s hands which makes her very sad. She spends her time in the stables with her favorite donkey. One night at the Inn it was very busy. Keturah was in the stall with Donkey when another donkey was forced to stay in the same stall. Keturah couldn’t get out so she decided to stay the night in the stable. All of a sudden, a star shone through the roof and angels came down into the stalls. They cleaned and pampered all of the animals and left as quickly as they had arrived. Soon a young couple, Mary and Joseph, came to the stay at the Inn. There were no rooms left so they were forced to stay outside in the stall. Jesus was born! Mary asked Keturah is she wanted to hold Jesus but Keturah was skeptical of her crippled hands. She ended up holding Jesus and her hands were healed. This is such a great story of Christmas miracles and tells the story of what Christmas is all about. Since religion is such a huge debate in the education world, I think it would be best to read this to students if you teach in a private christian/catholic church or even in Sunday school!