A Boy Called Christmas - book cover
Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Publisher : Yearling; Illustrated edition
  • Published : 16 Oct 2018
  • Pages : 256
  • ISBN-10 : 0399552685
  • ISBN-13 : 9780399552687
  • Language : English

A Boy Called Christmas

Before there was Santa Claus, there was a young boy who believed in the impossible. . . . Lemony Snicket meets Klaus in this cheeky, Christmas classic-in-the-making that sparkles with wit and warmth!

Eleven-year-old Nikolas-nicknamed "Christmas"-has received only one toy in his life: a doll carved out of a turnip. But he's happy with his turnip doll, because it came from his parents, who love him. Then one day his father goes missing, and Nikolas must travel to the North Pole to save him.

Along the way, Nikolas befriends a surly reindeer, bests a troublesome troll, and discovers a hidden world of enchantment in the frozen village of Elfhelm. But the elves of Elfhelm have troubles of their own: Christmas spirit and goodwill are at an all-time low, and Nikolas may be the only person who can fix things-if only he can reach his father before it's too late. . . .

"Irresistibly readable. Destined to become a Christmas and anytime-before-or-after-Christmas classic!" -- Chris Grabenstein, New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

"The definitive (and funny) history of ho, ho, ho! My children loved it." -- Yann Martel, bestselling author of Life of Pi

"Matt Haig has an empathy for the human condition, the light and the dark of it, and he uses the full palette to build his excellent stories." -- Neil Gaiman, Newbery-winning author of The Graveyard Book

Editorial Reviews

"Irresistibly readable. Destined to become a Christmas and anytime-before-or-after-Christmas classic!" --Chris Grabenstein, New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

"Like stockings hung by the fire, this spellbinding opus may well become a yuletide tradition." -Kirkus, Starred review

"Award-winning British author Matt Haig (To Be a Cat) writes with warmth, wit and irreverence." -Shelf Awareness, Starred review

"Matt Haig has an empathy for the human condition, the light and the dark of it, and he uses the full palette to build his excellent stories."-Neil Gaiman, Newbery-winning author of The Graveyard Book

"The definitive (and funny) history of Ho, ho, ho! My children loved it." -Yann Martel, bestselling author of Life of Pi

"Humorous and heartfelt, A Boy Called Christmas will grow your heart three sizes and make you believe in magic." --Liesl Shurtliff, New York Times bestselling author of Rump

"The most evergreen, immortal Christmas story to be published for decades. Future generations will receive the same comfort and joy from A Boy Called Christmas that they derive from mince pies, snowmen and creamy liqueurs." --Stephen Fry

"Matt Haig puts the Happy back into Christmas." --Jeanette Winterson

"A new festive classic. Funny, sad and brilliant. It turns out we only knew half the story." --Simon Mayo, BBC

"An instant Christmas classic... Nikolas is a terrific character, clearly the offspring of Gerda from The Snow Queen and Roald Dahl's Charlie Bucket."  --The Guardian

"Like enjoying the warmth of a good fire on a cold day . . . perfect for Christmas is every way." --The Independent 

Readers Top Reviews

Mama SlambinoFifisoo
If you're a fan of Roald Dahl, Lemony Snicket, and kind-hearted heroes, you're going to love this book. My son and I tried not to rush through it, but it is such a page-turner that it was hard to put down.
C. Graham
I gave this book three stars because of its awesome way of thinking. I never would have thought of the fact that Santa was a young boy many years ago and that he was a human. I never thought of him as an elf OR a human. Same with the fact that I never thought about where Santa would live, either. Finland was a very interesting choice! This book I full of surprises, fun, happiness, and sweets. Happy reading!
Sharon Berry
This book is a refreshingly different story of how Santa came to be. As I read it, I found myself wishing my grandchildren were still young enough to sit beside me and take turns reading it with me. And " The Girl Who Saved Christmas " completes the story. I fully intend to get hardback copies for my grown children so that they might share these wonderful holiday stories with their own grandchildren one day.
enjoyed all 3 books in this series..great detail..I find the 1 star ratings to be unjust..if you want a tot book, buy night before christmas..this book paints a picture of pure hope and believing in something bigger than yourself
This book is just downright depressing. This isn't a feel-good book made for kids. In my humble opinion, this is something I wouldn't have been able to handle as a kid. In fact, I was barely able to handle it as an adult. From all the pain Nikolas goes through...I won't spoil the book. But there is a load of abuse in this book and I can't get down with it. The book is well-written, don't get me wrong. But you don't feel good after you put it down. Maybe that's what the author wanted? Maybe they wanted something "deeper" therefore they chose the most depressing way to go about it.

Short Excerpt Teaser

You are about to read the true story of Father Christmas.


Yes. Father Christmas.


You may wonder how I know the true story of Father Christmas, and I will tell you that you shouldn't really question such things. Not right at the start of a book. It's rude, for one thing. All you need to understand is that I do know the story of Father Christmas, or else why would I be writing it?


Maybe you don't call him Father Christmas.


Maybe you call him something else.


Santa or Saint Nick or Santa Claus or Sinterklaas or Kris Kringle or Pelznickel or Papa Noel or Strange Man with a Big Belly Who Talks to Reindeer and Gives Me Presents. Or maybe you have a name you've come up with yourself, just for fun. If you were an elf, though, you would always call him Father Christmas. It was the pixies who started calling him Santa Claus, and spread the word, just to confuse things, in their mischievous way.


But whatever you happen to call him, you know about him, and that's the main thing.


Can you believe there was a time when no one in the world knew about him? A time when he was just an ordinary boy called Nikolas, living in the middle of nowhere, or the middle of Finland, doing nothing with magic except believing in it? A boy who knew very little about the world except the taste of mushroom soup, the feel of a cold north wind, and the stories he was told. And who only had a doll made out of a turnip to play with.


But life was going to change for Nikolas, in ways he could never have imagined. Things were going to happen to him.


Good things.


Bad things.


But if you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. It is most certainly not for you.


Because this book is full of impossible things.


Are you still reading the book?


Good. (Elves would be proud.)


Then let us begin . . .