Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1256
Christmas Mystery to Solve
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
The night before Christmas Eve, the Ferguson family sets up their tree. They haul out the Christmas box and carefully unwrap the decorations. Each ornament holds special meaning and they wonder about the ones that broke while stored during the year. But soon the joy of decorating fills the night. Then the tired family heads to bed and turns out the lights.

The Tree-Dwellers wake from their long sleep. Delighted to see each other again, greetings ring out. Branches bob and dip as ornaments move around the tree to visit their neighbors. Larry the snowman quickly reunites with Tinsel his dog-like buddy and his sweetheart Debbie, a unique combination of an elf and reindeer. The popular snowman joins the festivities with all his neighbors and friends and even meets the new wooden ornament, Splint.

But what happens after the family turns out the lights isnt the real mystery. Larry cant find his brother Terrence. He scouts the entire tree, hopping branches to the back by the wall and swinging with his umbrella down to the bottom. Debbie, Tinsel and Splint help him look, but theres no sign of Terrence. Unwilling to give up, they decide to defy Tree-Lord and the Army-Lights and leave the tree to find the Christmas box.

The foursome risks their lives crossing the room, braving the cat, and journeying through the house to find the garage and, hopefully, Terrence. Their adventure reveals life in the tree isnt all a jolly holiday. Pursued by the Army-Lights and braving unknown dangers, the companions make an unnerving discovery. They need to get back to the tree to warn the others, but they wonder if they can trust each other or anyone else who shares their branches.

Author Steven Hornby intended to write this story of suspense and friendship as a screenplay, but made it his debut novel instead. Until someone adapts Secrets of a Christmas Box into a holiday special, the book lends itself to an annual December reading alone or aloud with family.
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