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

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  581 ratings  ·  46 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
138th out of 713 books — 969 voters
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls WilderAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryLittle Women by Louisa May AlcottThe Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George SpeareThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Best Children's Historical Fiction
237th out of 532 books — 601 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,141)
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Janie  R.

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
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
Nov 14, 2010 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Rebecca McNutt
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 4 of 5 stars
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
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
Tonja Jensen
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
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 10, 2012 Wendolyn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Children, adults, Christmas fans
Recommended to Wendolyn by: ABC
Shelves: youth
I loved the television special when I was a child. I'm sure I read the author's two books afterwards. I think of this story every Christmas, and am so glad the library had it.

It's your basic down home Christmas without all the marketing.

It's the relationships of a girl and her father, as well as with her grandmother.


Pet peeve: illustrations that don't go with the written descriptions. The grandmother wears a dust cap per the author. And the mirror is on the dresser, not a free-standing
Gail Rock deftly uses the point of view of feisty, ten-year-old Addie Mills’ Christmas preparations to slowly reveal the rift that stands between her and her widower father. Blessed with a savvy grandmother, a wise teacher and a stalwart friend to support her as she forges her way through her fifth grade December, she fumbles and balks and pesters and ultimately grows in this subtle and sensitive narrative. The author carefully sidesteps the normal trappings of the traditional Christmas offering ...more
Rhonda Perkes
This is an extremely meaningful book for me. My mother first read it to me as a child and I related to the character Addie in so many ways. Addie's schoolhouse reminded me of my own. Addie's grandmother reminded me of my own. Addie's feelings reminded me of my own. It is now part of my Christmas traditions with my own children to read it with them each year. I also can now appreciate fully the great writing of this young adult novel. Gail Rock is a genious.
I read this book again and again when I was a kid.

It's the story of a girl whose dad (depressed after the death of his wife, the girl's mother) won't get a Christmas tree. The girl wins a tree in a contest at school and has to convince her dad to let her keep it.

There was a Christmas television special based on this book. Or maybe the book was based on the television special. I am not sure.
i first read this in 4th grade and found it at my parents' house last year. it is still good, funny & (ok) heartwarming. it's the 1940s and addie lives with her crusty father and eccentric grandmother. her mother died shortly after giving birth to addie, but her dad won't talk about it. he also won't buy a christmas tree, so addie schemes to get one in a different way.
Addie Mills just wants to have a Christmas tree like her classmates.But she has to contend with her grouchy father who seems to lack interest in Christmas trees and sadly, has a poor relationship with Addie.

Addie's Mother has passed away, but Addie relies on her loving and compassionate Grandmother for advice. This book is beautifully written and hopeful.
A sentimental story about a girl who's father refuses to buy a Christmas tree. This Depression era story is not with its good qualities, but the father uses some rough language and the girl does some unkind pranks.
The plot is pretty creative but it wasn't very realistic. I know children's books don't always have to be realistic, but this one was "the bad kind of strange". I don't think it would be a good read for younger children. It might make them believe that their parents will randomly not buy them a Christmas tree.
A ten year-old girl can't understand why she can't have a christmas tree. She asked her grandmother but she could't convince Addie's dad to get a christmas tree. Addie finds a way to get a christmas tree. She wonder if her dad will find a christmas sprit in him.

By:Danny Nhim
Etta Mcquade
A very nice story about 10-year-old Addie Mills in 1946, her character of a grandmother and her distant father. I chuckled several times and, at the end, got tears in my eyes as she finds out why her father wouldn't have a Christmas tree. But, of course, he does finally consent.
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Other Books in the Series

Addie Mills (4 books)
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