The House Without a Christmas Tree
by Gail Rock [j Rock]
In many ways this story feels like what anyone in a small town might experience -- up to a point. Addie and Carla Mae are best friends who like to hang out at each other's homes. This particular December day, they're talking what to buy for the student exchange at school and Addie is stumped about what to buy snobby Tonya. As Addie and Carla Mae spell their names with soup noodles, the conversation shifts to what each girl wants for Christmas. Sound like typical small town life? Oh, and Addie and Billie have a crush on each other, but of course neither will admit it. Then Carla Mae asks, "How come you haven't got your Christmas tree up yet?" Addie parrots the argument that her dad uses: they cost too much. The reality is sadder, to the point that the topic is a forbidden topic. When telling my husband about this book, he easily guessed its big secret. Yet my biggest problem, instead, is how long the secret is withheld and then how quickly Addie's problems are resolved once we know the truth behind them. Even so, The House Without a Christmas Tree remains a charming seasonal classic. -- review submitted by Allison H.-F. - a customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
[Editor's note: This was also adapted in 1972 into a TV special, starring Jason Robards, which remains a perennial holiday favorite for viewers, as well!]
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