"The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise." - author Jackie French

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Posts of Christmas Past: The Lump of Coal

If you’re looking for a Christmas story with a difference, it’s hard to go past Lemony Snicket’s The Lump of Coal. If you enjoy unusual stories that use words in clever ways, you probably already stop whenever you see a Lemony Snicket book anyway. I know I do.

The Lump of Coal is the story of a Christmas miracle. Nothing unusual there. The hero of the story is a lump of coal who can think, talk and move itself around. See, I told you this book was a little out of the ordinary.

The Lump of Coal is a short story, following the efforts of the story’s hero as he tries to find some purpose for his life – preferably as an artist, but he’s willing to accept that he is more likely to be used in helping to heat up someone’s barbeque.

While the story is short enough, the offbeat sense of humour and word play may be lost on younger readers. There is a lovely moral at the end of the humorous tale, so the book is ideal for slightly older children and those with a quirky sense of humour and well-developed vocabulary.

We read a lot of Christmas stories at this time of year and I love being able to include books that are a little different. The Lump of Coal is definitely one of my favourites.

Title: The Lump of Coal
Author: Lemony Snicket
Illustrator: Brett Helquist
Publisher: HarperCollins, 14.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1/11/2008
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9780061574283
For ages: 7+
Type: Junior fiction

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