Set in Minnesota (well, we know how Paulsen loves cold climates for his tales) during WW2, this short story is told in the first person by young boy. Only called Punkin by his mother, his father is a soldier far away in Europe, which is where the kid has somehow confused as a place to go if you are dying. Then his mother takes him on an all-day train trip to spend Christmas with her relatives up north. But something happened at home to make the boy stop believing in Santa Claus. When he visit his dying cousin, who also is disillusioned, they compare grim, childhood notes. How can the caring adults restsore their faith in Santa (and in Life itself? Will the lesson be long-lasting? Great read-aloud story by the fire or read-in-one-session for yourself. Recapture the basic, warm, honest feeling of Christmas!
I was disappointed by this book. Maybe it's because I didn't read the cover closely enough, or because I don't think believing in santa is the essence of the season. But the main point of this book is that it's important to believe in Santa. The young boy is also impressed by his cousin's ability to swear. Those are the things I don't like. I gave two stars because it is an engaging story and the history part is interesting, but this book left me disappointed at the end as feeling sorry for these two little boys who had nothing more to live for than the belief in santa claus.
(...)P>There is a little boy in this story and he is the main character. One day he was running up and down the halls oh there apartment complex and he saw one of his neighbors (Mr. Henderson) dressed up as Santa Claus. The little boy tells his mom and she says he gets paid to go to stores and talk to little kids. The little boy starts not to believe in Santa Claus. Then they get a call from There Aunt and Uncle. They want the little boy and his mom to come to their house for Christmas. They say yes because their dad is away in a war in Germany. This book was really interesting to read because new events kept happening like the little boy would be sad because he doesn't believe in Santa Claus any more then he would be happy because they were going to go to there aunt and uncles house for Christmas. Gary Paulsen is a really good author. This book will really amaze the reader because they will never get tired of reading a Christmas Sonata. Just when you think it's getting boring it starts to get really interesting.