That Happiness Thing: A Hometown Fable is a children's book that poses the age-old question: "What is happiness?" Which is what a 10-year-old boy from a small California town wants to know.
It's 1958. Christmas is just around the corner. His family isn't happy and he doesn't know why. So he sets out to explore his home town and find out. With a little help from an elderly gentleman and a magical snow globe, he discovers that true happiness isn't about having the most of everything, but making the most of everything you have. When his journey is finally complete, he learns that "that happiness thing" is home and family. That Happiness Thing is a bit of a hybrid, a short story for children and adults, similar to Nate the Great. It's not unlike The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert and Per Breiehagen, Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems, and The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. Although the story is very specific to one small town, I believe it could be easily tailored to any town in the country.