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A Different Kind of Christmas

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  326 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
This is a very special novel that sparkles with the same memorable writing that made ROOTS an American classic.

This is the story of  Fletcher Randall, a nineteen-year-old from North Carolina whose politically powerful father is a plantation owner, and, of course, a slave owner. The time is 1855, and all Fletcher Randall knows and believes about slavery he's learned from hi
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published September 5th 2000 by Gramercy (first published 1988)
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"A Different Kind of Christmas" is a short novel about the Underground Railroad and the escape of some Southern slaves during the holiday festivities. Fletcher Randal, the son of a North Carolina plantation owner is attending college at Princeton in 1855. He meets three Quaker students who take him to their home in Philadelphia where he is exposed to their anti-slavery beliefs and the Underground Railroad. His conscience bothers him, and Fletcher vows to help their cause.

The book is written simp
Tom Mathews
My first impression on seeing this book was that it was the kind of book that bestselling authors often release during the holidays and that are seen near the registers at bookstores, Hallmark shops, and Wal-Marts. Such books tend to be attractively bound and sized to fit in stockings. In most cases they are short, shallow and saccharin sweet. Having read it, my first impressions were borne out. I suspect that Alex Haley took advantage of his success when sales of Roots took off and whipped off ...more
Nov 02, 2015 Camie rated it liked it
It's not often I wish that an author had been more long winded or that a book had been longer, but that was certainly the case here. Alex Haley tells the story of the son of a southern plantation owner who while at Princeton has an experience which enlightens him about the evils of slavery. Later as he's returning to the plantation he has much more on his mind then celebrating the Christmas holidays, as he's to meet up with a mysterious person there who shares both his views and a common goal .. ...more
Jul 18, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
Perfect read for a child learning about the Underground Railroad. It's simply written and would be a great learning tool. This was my first Haley read and I enjoyed it. Not a lot of emotion for such a heavy topic. I wanted to see more emotional turmoil between the characters. As the plot got more engaging and exciting it was too quickly over. Great introductory read but I wanted more details.
Oct 03, 2015 Mmars rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-novellas
Haley is known, of course, for his Roots saga. He also wrote this little novella about an only child of a plantation and slave owner who is sent for an education at a northern university. He is unlike either the rougish southerners or the brash northerners and requests a room in a different dorm. There he encounters Quakers who introduce him the more integrated society of Philadelphia. As he comes to terms with the inner tumult this provides, he decides to become involved with the Underground Ra ...more
Diane Barnes
Jul 19, 2015 Diane Barnes rated it liked it
This was a small novella about the Underground Railroad and a Christmas Eve slave escape masterminded by the son of a plantation owner and a black slave. It is simply written, and would be great for a middle school audience learning about the Underground RR and how it began. Moral of the story: Plantation owners beware of sending your sons up north for a college education. They might get some funny ideas in their head.
Muhammad Galal
Jan 07, 2014 Muhammad Galal rated it liked it
-- رواية تحكي عن الرقّ و العبوديّة في أمريكا قبل الحرب الأهليّة ، الأحداث تمّت في عام 1855 م .
-- انتهى الرقّ في الشمال و عاش السود أحرارًا كالبيض _ بمساعدة " الكوكرييّن البيض " ، و ما زال أهل الجنوب يستعبدون السود و يُهلكونهم بالتعذيب و العمل الشاقّ .
-- قصّة الرواية تدور حول أنّ شابّ جنوبي من أب ذي منصب هامّ في الدولة " عضو مجلس الشيوخ " ، و عنده ما يقارب المائة عبد يعملون في مزرعته و هو من أكبر أعيان " كارولينا الشماليّة " .
-- يلتقي الابن و هو في دراسته في الشمال بزملاء له كوكريّين يستضيفونه
Feb 28, 2010 Radwa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
سعيدة باكتشاف تلك الرواية لأليكس هيلى كى لا يظل اسمه مرتبطا ب (جذور) فقط.
الرواية تدور أحداثها فى أمريكا أيام استعباد السود و بطلها هو أحد أبناء الموسرين البيض الذى يذهب للدراسة فى بلدة بعيدة عن أهله و يتعرف على بعض الأفراد من الكويكريين . تنمو الصداقة بينهم و يلتقى كذلك مع بعض السود الأحرار و هو ما لم يكن مألوفا فى البلدة التى جاء منها ليبدأ فى التساؤل حول موضوع الرق و الحرية بأكمله. مع تطور الرواية يتغير موقفه تجاه قضية السود ليشترك فى مجموعة من البيض و السود هدفها تهريب العبيد السود و مساعدتهم
Tasneem Ali
Dec 27, 2013 Tasneem Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: مكتبتى
إذا لم تسطتع الحكومة حماية حق أقل المواطنين شأناً فى الحياة و الحرية و نشدان السعادة أو استطاعت و لم تفعل ... فينبغى إصلاحها أو تغييرها دون إبطاء
عيد ميلاد جديد تتحرك فى سيكولوجية طالب جامعى يكتشف عن طريق المُثل العليا للدين ومن خلال تجربة ذاتية فريدة طبيعة الرق المنافية للإنسانية و عندها سيكتشف وسيلة للتواؤم مع ذاته بعد أن طالت الحرب الداخلية باطنه بكل ما يحمل ..
Rating 2.5 stars. Potential, potential, potential that was never realized. That is how I would best describe this book. Alex Haley had 100 pages to create a Christmas story you would never forget and it just did not materialize. This is not a terrible book, but it isn't that good either. I almost felt like Mr. Haley threw this work together at the last minute to satisfy the publishers demand.
Aug 05, 2010 Hattie rated it it was amazing
"Harpin' John cupped his harmonica. He played. Fletcher heard the melody of "Silent Night" as the Christmas moonlight bathed the faces of the black man playing and the white man listening."

As I read this small book packed with a wonderful story, I wished Alex Haley were still here writing his heart out. The man was brilliant. "A Different Kind of Christmas" is mainly about, Fletcher Randall, a white Southerner. Fletcher grew up on a thousand acre plantation in North Carolina. The plantation was
This is a very quick and simple read. I read it for the book club that I facilitate. One of my group members had suggested this book as our Christmas read, and also because one of her ancestors (Levi Coffin) was mentioned in the book.
The author of this book, Alex Haley, also wrote the book Roots. This book, A Different Kind of Christmas, takes place in 1855 and is narrated by a college student named Fletcher Randall. During his time at Princeton University, Fletcher meets and befriends a trio of
Jun 06, 2012 Katy rated it it was amazing
I checked out this novella yesterday because (1) it was written by Alex Haley, and (2) it was short and thin. Not realizing what I was about to read, I am amazed by the story itself and the excellence in writing.

It's 1855, and young Fletcher, scion of a wealthy NC plantation family with political ties, is befriended by three Quaker brothers. All four men attend a prestigious Northern college in Princeton, NJ. The brothers and Fletcher discuss slavery, each respecting the views and family positio
Tirza Fierros-Snuffer
a big THANK YOU to whoever donated this book to the library sale - I was thrilled to buy it and LOVED it! I won't over analyze or scrutinize this story, characters, or writing like many reviews! It goes without saying that Alex Haley's writing was fabulous! Simply Put - its a quick read & fantastic book. Perfect to read this time of year (or any other). Five stars indeed!
Ðøç Ërökã
Jan 28, 2017 Ðøç Ërökã rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ولكن مهما كان ألم الحاضر فى قلبه واهتزاز المستقبل فى عينيه"
فقد ادرك انه قد نجح فى ان يعيش مع نفسه ،
عندما نجح الا يعيش لنفسه "
بهذه الكلمات ينُهي الكاتب اليكس هيلي رائعته عيد ميلاد جديد برأيي أفضل ما تعرضت له ها هنا هو قدره القضايا والمبادئ في استقطاب اعدائها ليصيروا حلفاء مناصرين ليسوا فقط مناصرين لها وانما مدافعين عنها بارواحهم مثلما حدث هنا مع فلتشر حينما تحول من اكبر حلفاء الرق والعبوديه وكارهي السود حد الاشمئزاز من مصافحتهم او الاقتراب منهم الي مدافع عنهم بل وان شئت قل مضحيا بثروته وبمستقبل
Feb 20, 2017 BOOKER rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
رابط تحميل رواية عيد ميلاد جديد لأليكس هايلي
Dec 26, 2016 Ang rated it liked it
Nice short story about the Underground Railroad. Just not so sure it "delivered." A longer story would have given more insight to Fletcher which would have been more impactful overall.
Samer Jaber
في عيد ميلادي
من شعاع الشمس
من محيط عيني
على خدود الورد
سقطط دمعاتي
لتغمس الحلات ملحاً
في عيد ميلادي
لا ارى احداً
رائحة الثوم من الحقل
في انفي
وخيوط العنكبوت
على سقفي
وامي مسافره
وزاد الملح في عيني
وزاد الدمع يجري
ومات الورد في بعدك
وزاد الثوم في حقلي
الم تاتي ؟

حتى الغيم سيبعد
ليصل شعاع الشمس
الى وجهي
والسماء صافيه
والطريق مفتوحه
الن تاتي ؟

حتى ان القمر
قد وعدني
بان ينير جميع الطرقات
الى بيتي
في عيد ميلادي
الن تاتي ؟

حتى الريح ستكون ساكنه
لن يهطل
بعد ان يغسل ال
Apryl Anderson
Dec 05, 2014 Apryl Anderson rated it really liked it
Haley dedicates this story, “To the memory of all those whose courage, daring, and self-sacrifice made the Underground Railroad possible.”

It’s almost as if I were leaning over his shoulder as he conducted his family research…So many questions come up when we find the shortest blurbs on what person was where and when. This short story appears to have bubbled up out of a few names and places, and Haley was the fortunate scribe watching it unfold in his imagination. How much of this was anything c
Muhammad Galal
-- رواية تحكي عن الرقّ و العبوديّة في أمريكا قبل الحرب الأهليّة ، الأحداث تمّت في عام 1855 م .
-- انتهى الرقّ في الشمال و عاش السود أحرارًا كالبيض _ بمساعدة " الكوكرييّن البيض " ، و ما زال أهل الجنوب يستعبدون السود و يُهلكونهم بالتعذيب و العمل الشاقّ .
-- قصّة الرواية تدور حول أنّ شابّ جنوبي من أب ذي منصب هامّ في الدولة " عضو مجلس الشيوخ " ، و عنده ما يقارب المائة عبد يعملون في مزرعته و هو من أكبر أعيان " كارولينا الشماليّة " .
-- يلتقي الابن و هو في دراسته في الشمال بزملاء له كوكريّين يستضيفونه
Dusky Literati
Alex Haley’s A Different Kind of Christmas is the first book I read for this year’s Christmas Spirit challenge. This novella set in 1855, follows 19-year old Randall Fletcher, son of a slave-holding plantation owner. While attending college at Princeton, he is befriended by three brothers who happen to be Quakers. Through his interaction with them and visits to their hometown of Philadelphia, he slowly awakens to the evils of slavery. Can Randall partner with a slave to betray his family as he i ...more
Nov 16, 2014 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Wow, Fletcher is the son of a plantation owner but he is attending college in the north. He meets Quakers for the first time and slowly but surely he begins to believe that slavery is wrong. He is taking an ethics class which furthers his belief that slavery is wrong. Fletcher becomes so upset over how slaves are treated that he volunteers to help the Underground Railroad. On a visit to his parents' plantation for Christmas, Fletcher has to use his cunning and courage to execute a plan of assist ...more
Sabrina Dennis
May 24, 2016 Sabrina Dennis rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 28, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
I read this in college too but I enjoyed reading it again. I could easily identify with the main character and I loved the Quaker family described in this book. It is a great story about helping someone "see the light" and what approach is the most likely way to encourage someone to change his/her worldview. The story lacks detailed information about Fletcher's transformation and the ending leaves a lot to the imagination but this is a super quick read that leaves you with something to think abo ...more
Joe Rodeck
Dec 28, 2013 Joe Rodeck rated it liked it

A plantation boy has his trials with anti-southern discrimination at Princeton,* is shocked to see blacks walking around free, and meets Quakers who will introduce him to the Underground Railroad. These are solid basics foretelling a great tale, and the first half is just right. A good slice of pre-Civil War history as well.

Seems rushed at the end. Haley was either under pressure to finish or simply fumbled when plot details at the climactic ending seem simply omitted.

*Question: Would they h
Julie Barrett
Sep 17, 2014 Julie Barrett rated it really liked it
A Different Kind of Christmas by Alex Haley
1855, time of slavery and underground railroad.
Fletcher has been granted a move on campus and he meets other religious groups of people and talks to them to understand about their lifestyle.
He attends President Lincoln's address about freeing the slaves and he knows he will be the master of the plantation in time.
Love details to make it a special day for everyone.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Devic
Amy Kitchell-Leighty
Oct 22, 2012 Amy Kitchell-Leighty rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novellas, christmas
College student Fletcher Randall leaves his southern plantation home and moves to Princeton in hopes of teaching the north a lesson or two in how society should work. It's 1855 and Fletcher stands to eventually inherit the family business. Instead, he learns a lesson from his newfound Quaker friends who take him to an Underground Railroad Rally. With Christmas approaching, Fletcher gains insight into the man he wants to be and the people he wants to help.
Jan 08, 2010 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
A good, quick read about a wealthy only son of a state representative/plantation owner father who is attending Princeton in the years preceding the Civil War. After he befriends some Quaker "friends" and visits Philadelphia and meets free blacks, he questions his whole world view. His courage is remarkable, although I would have liked more information about his thought processes, and some of Haley's details seems anachronistic... (Was there really baseball in 1855?)
Jan 02, 2009 Carolyn rated it liked it
Whereas I LOVED Roots and the generational approach to telling the tale of slavery, I'm not sure I'm suggesting everyone rush out to read this novella. If you're not going to commit yourself to reading Haley's masterpiece, I suppose this might suffice it, but this short tale of a young plantation owner's son realizing his disgust with slavery didn't grab me the way Roots did. Maybe because this was told more from the white perspective? Dunno. Very easy read, though, and a nice story.
Tommy Estlund
Apr 03, 2013 Tommy Estlund rated it really liked it
A very quick, simple tale of a young southern man's awakening to the realization that slavery is wrong. I was surprised--and pleased--to see the prominence that Quakers played in the coming to terms with the horrors of the institution.

Its short, easy to read, and realistic.

Good for kids, with a little discussion.
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Alexander Murray Palmer Haley was an American writer. He is best known as the author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family, and of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, the latter of which he wrote in collaboration with Malcolm X.
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