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The House Without a Christmas Tree (Addie Mills #1)

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  682 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
In 1946 a ten-year-old girl tries to understand and overcome her stern father's objections to having a Christmas tree in the house.
Mass Market Paperback, 84 pages
Published September 12th 1974 by Bantam/Skylark (first published 1974)
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A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Favorite Christmas Books
136th out of 797 books — 1,104 voters
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls WilderAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryLittle Women by Louisa May AlcottThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Best Children's Historical Fiction
257th out of 606 books — 642 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,407)
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Jan 14, 2016 Ron rated it really liked it
“Who says I’m a character?”

Addie’s house doesn’t have a Christmas tree. It’s missing other stuff, too.Though the Christmas season has passed, this gem addresses issues relevant year round.

“In this life you can’t have everything you want.”

Excellent story on many levels. Addie grabs your attention and your heart and doesn’t let go. This forty-year-old, award-winning illustrated novella captures at time (late 1940s) which is beyond the memory of most alive today. The story debuted as a television
Nov 28, 2010 Linda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas
There are three Christmas specials that should be considered classics and shown every year:
* the 1966 version of The Christmas Memory, starring Geraldine Page, narrated by Truman Capote himself
* Earl Hamner Jr's 1971 The Homecoming: A Christmas Story which was the takeoff for The Waltons
* the 1972 House without a Christmas Tree starring Jason Robards, Mildred Natwick and Lisa Lucas

All three are based on childhood memories from the 1930's (Capote) and 1940's when life was a little simpler. I supp
Dec 29, 2015 C. rated it liked it
The House Without A Christmas Tree”, Gail Rock was a television special. Grandma is memorable! Addie was raised by her and Dad at Grandma’s home. Since his wife died in Addie’s infancy, he taught her things and joked but resisted bonding with her. His child imagines it was because he wanted a boy. This is a snapshot of an unusual family in December 1946, when Addie was ten.

The words chosen for a review matter more than a rating. These stars aren’t skyrocketing, not because I don’t deem this a w
Janie  R. Freeman
Dec 01, 2014 Janie R. Freeman rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas

This story takes us back to 1946,and I enjoyed reading the way of living back then,esp. the school days. The main character, Addie was my favorite, she was so funny at times. The least liked character was her father, I felt like slapping him good at times. I loved her grandmother, she reminded me of my grandmother. This story brought me to tears at one point, I can't tell what it was, but that was one of the times that I didn't like her father at all! He was selfish and stubborn. Sometimes, whe

Even without the Christmas tree you get to spent the Christmas season with Addie, a 10 year old girl living in a small town in 1947, and what a joyful and busy one it is. It may remind adults of their own youthful Christmases, as this is a nostalgic, charming and heartwarming story that even adults would love. But wait, she may just get a tree by the end of the story. I assure you, you will love Addie and her grandmother.


I am so glad that Janie R and Linda, both of Goodreads gave great reviews
Nov 14, 2010 Tatiana rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tatiana by: Vana
I was looking for a Christmas novel that 1) had heart, 2) wasn't sappy, and 3) didn't make me cry. I found it in The House Without a Christmas Tree: sweet, concise (I read it today), and old-fashioned in the best way. It's the story of Addie Mills, a fiesty 10-year-old in 1946, who can't understand why her father won't allow them to have a Christmas tree. Father and daughter both have trouble communicating with those they care about, and so it's good they have Grandma to bridge the gap. Grandma ...more
Dec 08, 2014 Brenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The House Without A Christmas Tree

This book is one of my favorite Christmas stories. It is very nostalgic and sweet. The story is told by Addie, a fifth grader girl who lives with her stern father and her caring grandmother.The story centers around the fact that Addie has never had a Christmas tree in her home. For reasons we learn about later in the story, her father forbids her havinghaving a tree. Her actions and reactions are are so typical of a 10year old girl. The setting of the book which
Nov 28, 2015 Katherine rated it it was amazing
I Loved this story! Everyone should read this book and / or watch the movie. A wonderful story if a 10 year old girl, named Addie, who grew up in her grandma's house with her father and grandma. Her mother died shortly after giving birth. Christmas time reminded father to much of Addie's mother, he missed her and it made him sad. They never had a Christmas tree or decorated for the holiday. Things were about to get a little sticky. Addie was ten, and she wants Christmas and a Christmas tree, the ...more
Dec 18, 2014 Tinika rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s, 2014
The House Without a Christmas Tree is a sweet, feel-good seasonal story. The year is 1946. Ten-year-old Addie lives with her father and grand-mother and Christmas is fast approaching. Her father will not allow a Christmas tree in the house for emotional rather than financial reasons but, then, Addie, who dearly wants a tree, manages to win one. The ending is fairly predictable but fits the holiday spirit. The story would make a good read-aloud for students in grade one or two with plenty of oppo ...more
Nov 10, 2015 Darla rated it it was amazing
I read this book every year at Depression era setting, reminds me of my mother and her stories of growing up....and how fathers sometimes have a hard time showing their emotions, especially then, when it wasn't accepted for men to show a softer side. Read this with your kids wrapped up in a blanket and drift back in a time when things were hard, kids still have some of the same problems they do today, and things don't always work out the way you want them to, but they do work o ...more
Jun 14, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Ten-year-old Addie is tired of not having a Christmas tree at home. Her mother died when she was young, so her father and grandmother are raising her. Despite her repeated begging, Addie's father refuses to buy a Christmas tree. As the novel progresses, the reader is made aware that this is just one area of contention between the two. The House Without a Christmas Tree becomes much more than a book about a tree; the family dynamics is where the action truly lies. I appreciated how Rock ends the ...more
Nov 26, 2011 NebraskaIcebergs rated it liked it
Some have speculated that The House Without a Christmas Tree by Gail Rock is inspired by true events in the author’s life. Indeed, there are many reasons to think this. Consider that main character Addie Mills lives with her dad and grandmother—and that the dedication reads “To Grandma and Dad”. Then there is the prologue, in which the narrator states that she now lives in the city, but once lived in Clear River, Nebraska. She often thinks of that little town and that special Christmas in 1946 w ...more
Dec 05, 2015 Becky rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015reviews, mg2015
It had been years since I first read this one. This is a reflective book about a memorable-though-slightly-tricky Christmas. The narrator is reflecting on the Christmas of 1946. Readers meet a young girl who lives with her father and grandmother. Her father doesn't exactly know how to show love, affection, or concern for his growing-up daughter. In fact, he fails to see her as a human being, as the grandmother bravely points out in a tense scene. The child has no memories of her mother--who died ...more
Ms. B
Dec 26, 2015 Ms. B rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, 2015, 1980s
Even more emotionally charged than I remember, this is the story of ten year-old Addie and her father's less than perfect relationship.
The year is 1946 and they are living with her grandmother (her father's Mom). Addie has never had a Christmas tree and will do almost anything to bring one into her home. Her father does not want a a tree as it reminds him of his Addie's mother who died when she was a few months old. Will Addie and her Dad be able to resolve their differences in this Christmas c
Jul 12, 2010 Sandie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy Gail Rock's writing style. I read The Thanksgiving Treasure when I was a child and really loved it and have read it many times even as an adult. I was at the library here recently and came across this book. I was so surprised, I never realized this writer had other books! Having enjoyed the one so much, I had to check this one out and see if it was as good. It was, all the same characters and the same town, it was wonderful!! Kind of like a little family reunion!!

Its a small book,
Leigh  DuParri
Mar 27, 2014 Leigh DuParri rated it really liked it
I found this book for 25 cents at a flea market. Published in 1974, yellow pages and all. :-). The book is set in 1946. I had to laugh, as the main character talks about the Christmas tree in her classroom and a gift exchange the students were going to have with a 50 cent limit. I am fortunate enough to be old enough to remember such things. :-)

The picture on the back of the book shows her dad sitting in a chair smoking. It was definitely a different time.
Feb 01, 2009 Lindsey rated it it was amazing
I wanted a simple, sweet book to read to my kids at Christmas. A fellow teacher recommended The House Without a Christmas Tree. It takes place in the 1950's and centers around a little girl named Addie, who lives with her grandmother and father. For reasons unknown to her, Addie's dad refuses to get a Christmas tree for their house every year. So Addie makes it her mission to find some way to change her dad's mind and get a Christmas tree like everyone else.

It was a cute book that taught about
Sep 23, 2014 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
This is a terribly sweet and heart warming Christmas story. Its all about family and caring about other people more than yourself.

I would recomend this to anyone really, who just wants a heartwarming story. However, I think it would be a lovely family read around the holidays. Something to help kids to understand the real reason for the season.
Natalie Pietro
Jan 25, 2011 Natalie Pietro rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childhood
When I was in 4th grade my sister gave me this book. It was her copy from the 70's and she told me what an outstanding story it was. It was Christmas time when I received this book and thought this would be the proper time to read it. The story was so sweet and heart warming. I loved how the little girl just wanted to make Christmas special in her home but her father would not allow it. I remember the part when the teacher allowed her to take the classroom tree home and how excited she was to fi ...more
Dec 14, 2015 PJ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-alouds
I saw this movie many years ago and didn't realize it was a book. I read it to my class as a read aloud during the holiday season. The story is about a girl who lives with her grandmother who is considered a "character" and her father. Her father refuses to let Addie have a Christmas tree in the house. Addie then "wins" a tree from her classroom and brings it home. Addie later finds out the truth why her father didn't want a tree.
Rebecca McNutt
May 09, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
I loved this book as a little kid, I think I still have a copy packed away somewhere. It was a wonderful and timeless story with a depth that you wouldn't expect from a children's novel, and it's a great book to read at any time of the year, Christmas or otherwise.
Aug 23, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: just about anybody
I got this in a garage sale many years ago, and I forgot about it (having never gotten around to reading it). It wasn't until I was stuck in my grandmother's basement in Wichita (a few years later), and a strange Christmas special come on T.V. about a girl's tree-less plight. Remembering, I dusted off the little book, and was amazed at what a simple, sweet story it was. It tells of how 5th grader Addie Mills longs for a Christmas tree, but her father forbids it--due to the painful reminders of A ...more
Mar 10, 2016 Catherine rated it really liked it
I never knew the movie was based on a book. I loved the book and the illustrations.

See the full review on my blog.

Dec 16, 2015 Karen rated it it was amazing
This was the first book that helped me realize things weren't right at my house. We had a Christmas tree, but ours was not the happy house and I was the friend who wished she belonged to someone else's family.
Dec 25, 2014 Alicia rated it liked it
This was a quick holiday read. Based on the description I was hoping for a book like Paper Moon or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The writing was not to that caliber, but I liked the story. It's juvenile fiction.
This was one of my favorite Christmas books when I was growing up. I remember my fourth grade teacher reading this to my class, and I was taken with the story ever since. Addie not only makes one of my favorite narrators, but she also makes a great protagonist. She's truly one of those characters that you can't help but root for. Overall, this book is heartwarming and funny at the same time. As I finished re-reading this, I had the biggest, dopiest smile on my face, just because it has one of th ...more
Nov 28, 2015 Liz rated it liked it
I was surprised by the mild swearing in this children's book. Other than that it was a nice story, but I couldn't recommend it for young readers because of the language.
Tonja Jensen
Dec 12, 2014 Tonja Jensen rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome book i read when i was in grade school. I also saw the tv movie which is now available to buy again. I read it to my daughter this month and she loved it too. it takes u back to the past and a simpler christmas time.
Lindsay Allen
Dec 01, 2014 Lindsay Allen rated it did not like it
only the bad kind of sad, and not something that would benefit, teach, inspire, etc any kid of mine. glad I read this before josh did, so I could give it away first.
Dec 28, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas
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Addie Mills (4 books)
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