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The Christmas Doll

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  510 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
In a heartwarming novel that is destined to become a Christmas classic, acclaimed author Elvira Woodruff tells the story of two orphaned sisters whose lives are forever changed by a magical doll.

Lucy and Glory are orphaned sisters with no real place to call home. Only their memories of a beautiful doll named Morning Glory brighten their bleak lives. When a deadly fever swe
Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 19, 2016 Hilary rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers who like christmas stories, books about orphans and dolls
Read aloud to my daughter, I would perhaps rate 3 but she thought nearer 4 stars. This book had all the ingredients we love for a story, orphans, escape from cruel orphanage, dolls, christmas, happy ending etc, but it was so short, and events happened in a quick and predictable way. The escape from the orphanage was decided and then they escaped. We would have liked to have been on the edge of our seats a bit, enjoying their planning and wondering if they would make it. There are some parts wher ...more
Dec 06, 2014 Manybooks rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: children who enjoy too-good-to-be-true Christmas tales, or doll tales
While many if not most of the general themes of this slight little story are interesting, and while it does paint a realistic picture of poverty and workhouse conditions of/in 19th century London, the story itself is just too melodramatic and implausible. The painful and heartbreaking reality of the sisters' desperate plight is rather trivialised and much diluted by the fact that they smoothly and seamlessly escape from the workhouse, immediately find a friend and then a sympathetic doll-making ...more
Dec 27, 2011 Alleluialu rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas
My daughter told me I should read this book last year when I was doing the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge, but I never got to it. So, I decided to read it this year. It is the story of two orphan girls who escape the workhouse and live on the streets in the city. The elder, Lucy, got a job at a doll's shop when she went in to try to sell a doll she had found in the mud. She happened to be wearing her sister Glory's apron upon which she had stitched a little Morning Glory flower. The shopkeep ...more
Dec 11, 2010 Donna rated it it was amazing
The Christmas Doll is a story about two orphans who were being brought to a factory and were forced to work there. It's setting is in London, where the time is 150 years ago, and it was a very dark society at that time. The were sisters, and everyday the factory they had very less food to eat, and the quality of the food is very poor. Then the younger sister got sick and was being separated from her sister. And this led to the escape of the two sisters from the factory. After the escape they had ...more
Reham La-yramo
Jul 25, 2013 Reham La-yramo rated it it was amazing
The first book I ever bought...I think I was in grade four...I still remember every page clearly because I read over 10 times... it's very inspiring and sad at the same time... I cried through the while book because it was just so touching.
I love how lucy describes the little things that are so important to her being and orphan and her love towards her sister is what gave them the will to survive the cold London streets.
My dad has donated away my copy of this book :( I'd pay anything to have a c
Cynthia Egbert
Dec 24, 2016 Cynthia Egbert rated it really liked it
I love a good Christmas cry and this sweet story provided just that for me today. A perfect Christmas Eve read! It reminds me of O. Henry's Gift of the Magi with the gentle twist at the end and it is just a sweet little tale. It is melodramatic and unrealistic in some ways but it feels like a fairy tale and I loved it.
Izzy An
Apr 25, 2014 Izzy An rated it it was amazing
I loved this heart warming story. Even though these two orphans went through difficult times, and even more difficult people, these two sisters love for each other encouraged them to push on for a better future. I loved how their hard work and courage paid off in such a cruel world. It's a Christmas story that would warm anyone's heart.
Dec 16, 2016 Clare rated it really liked it
This tender story takes place in mid 1800's London where two orphaned sisters escape from the workhouse where they lived to try to make it on their own. London back then was not a kind place for those down on their luck, but Lucy, the older sister is determined to keep her little sister Glory safe even in the desperate situation in which they now find themselves.
Alyssa Bloedow
Mar 06, 2012 Alyssa Bloedow rated it it was ok
This book is written by an author named Elvira Woodruff. She has written many books including "The Christmas Doll". This story can compare to my life because i had lost a doll from when i was about three years old. I had recently cleaned my closet and had found it. I was so happy about finding her because i got her from my uncle and she meant so much to me.
Amy Best
Dec 07, 2015 Amy Best rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-with-kiddos
My kids and I found this book engaging and sweet, with a sweet demonstration of sacrificial love at the end.
Jessica Riben
Title: The Christmas Doll
Author: Elvira Woodruff
Illustrator: N/A
Genre: Historical Fiction
Theme(s): Orphans, Christmas, Dolls
Opening line/sentence: Long ago in London Town, at a time when the muffin man’s cries began the day, and the lamplighter ushered in the night, two young girls lived together in the bleak, cold shelter of a public workhouse.
Brief Book Summary: Lucy and Glory are two orphaned sisters who have no place to call home. One day they escape and are on the streets of London to fend
Sarah Allerding
Dec 19, 2016 Sarah Allerding rated it it was amazing
This is a really nice story with a great ending!
Vonze (Yvonne)
Feb 10, 2010 Vonze (Yvonne) rated it really liked it
The Christmas Doll could be described as a Charles Dickens-ish story with a female main character. Lucy and Glory’s parents are dead and they live in a workhouse. The book begins just slightly before they escape. As children living on the streets, their future looks really dim, until they discover they can trade items they find at the dump for food. The younger girl, Glory, finds a worn and muddy old doll at the dump, and immediately wants to keep it. During their time at the workhouse, the olde ...more
Emma Bauer
Dec 15, 2015 Emma Bauer rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 14, 2013 Kathleen rated it liked it
Not much to say about this book. It's a pretty standard Christmas story: two girls escape from a Victorian workhouse and find a doll while mudlarking, which sets off a chain of events that gets them a new home just in time for Christmas. No surprises here, but I suppose it's not the sort of story that you choose when looking for surprises. It's a nice, quick little read.

I will say that this book does the best job of weaving in the Christian faith that I've yet seen. Lucy thinks and behaves as a
Sep 11, 2011 Leah rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It is for a young audience but I went to see the play and had to read the book. The whole story revolves around two orphan girls, who find themselves out on the streets of London during the winter and fever. The adventure and courage these girls have is tremendous and finding morning glory was so sweet. If you are looking for an easy Christmas read this is the book for you. I recommend it to everyone even the little kids.
Mar 24, 2012 Imani rated it it was amazing
Since the year I got it (I can't say when that was exactly) Elementary school (5th or 6th grade) or junior high years? Anyway I've had it and loved it since then. I'm 20 now, and since a couple years ago (perhaps 4 or 5?) I've made it my tradition to read it every Christmas~ <3 It's a lovely story. Completely heartwarming~

Christmas is incomplete to me until I read it during the season~!
Jan 12, 2010 Camilla rated it liked it
I was almost done with the book. But I stopped there because I had to read other books (book reports and such).

This book is so sad! Not actually sad. But about determination and living on your own in a dirty, disgusting, English world. I feel so bad for those two little girls but it definitely opened my eyes and gave feeling and love for them.
Mitch Cardella Trudel Du Mond
I ‘m amazed to how people lived in the early part of the centuries, the lack of caring, and education, yet somehow the people survived, life was brutal, unless you had the means to better yourself. This is a story of the good fortune and destiny for all the characters. But I wonder is anything like that ever happened? You are right. It is a Christmas story. What do you think?
Sep 26, 2011 Meghan rated it really liked it
I remember reading this in...maybe 5th grade and absolutely loving it. It must be good because it was certainly a book that some parts still stick clearly in my memory and I think about sometimes, and I haven't read it in six years.
Apr 02, 2015 Michaela rated it it was amazing
This book made me cry, smile, and just fall in love with this book. I set to read 50 books for this year and This out of all the 41 books I have read this year so far is my favorite. It is soulful and honest. A beautiful story I will read again and again and again.
Apr 16, 2015 Hannah rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I was very young and spent years trying to find it. It's a simple, sweet story, but the real appeal is in the way you can imagine a quiet, cheery, warm doll shop, with smiling faces all around, against a backdrop of a chilly London night.
Dec 03, 2011 Tana rated it it was amazing
This is absolutely one of my all time favourite books; I've read it at least once a year since I first came upon it. It's a sad but heartwarming tale of two sisters placed in unfortunate circumstance and their struggle to find solidity in their lives. Really cute.
Jun 20, 2011 Brandi rated it really liked it
I read this book in the 5th grade, and loved it. I'm in eleventh grade now, and this book has hung in the back of my mind ever since.
Jul 04, 2010 Ilayda added it
For some reason, this really stuck with me. It's not a terribly unique story, but I read it every couple of years at Christmas, and it always entertains me.
Jan 19, 2012 Tamsen rated it really liked it
A wonderful Christmas read. Well written. A story about two orphaned sisters and their fight to survive the
many obstacles that stand in their way.
Janet Hamm
Dec 30, 2016 Janet Hamm rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
A cute little story with a great setting. Historical London seems well-portrayed. The style is a bit old-fashioned for my taste, but I guess it goes with the setting.
Nov 15, 2011 Madison rated it really liked it
About orphans. Really nice read. I liked it.
Jul 16, 2014 Rachel rated it it was amazing
I loved this book as a kid!
Alyssa Dannaker
Aug 25, 2010 Alyssa Dannaker rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own
I loved this book so much! I read it countless times and each time I loved it all the same.
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Well-known for her popular children’s stories, author Elvira Woodruff had a long route to becoming a writer. In fact, one of her first jobs after leaving college was driving an ice cream truck. She has also worked as a receptionist, a janitor, a window dresser, a gardener, a shop owner, an assistant librarian, a waitress, and a storyteller. After working for several years in the children’s room of ...more
More about Elvira Woodruff...

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