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Angels and Other Strangers: Family Christmas Stories
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Angels and Other Strangers: Family Christmas Stories

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  100 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Aminister, trying to help a boy find his father, winds up in jail on Christmas Eve. A mother copes with the death of her infant. A father searches for his runaway son. A widower takes in an outspoken foster child who tests the limits of his generosity. In unexpected ways that illuminate the true meaning of the Christmas story, these people put aside their loneliness and so ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 7th 1988 by HarperCollins (first published November 1st 1979)
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Dec 05, 2012 Jan rated it really liked it
Shelves: advent-christmas
It's been several years since we read this and since it was one of our favorite Christmas books, I think it's time for us to re-read it.
Dec 08, 2016 Sandy rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas
Katherine Paterson wrote these short stories for her pastor husband's congregation's Christmas Eve services. Each one reminds us to look for angels in the most unexpected places in our sometimes messy, chaotic, and unruly lives.
Jan 20, 2011 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the stories for what they are, short stories. However, I am a gal who likes series of books to really get to know a character, so a story that starts and ends in a few pages is a bit of a stretch for me. However, I thought the characters were engaging and I was left wanting more, which I suppose is a good thing. I like that these stories of Christmas were about people looking for, living like and actually aware of God. That was encouraging to me.
Dec 30, 2012 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is book I read during the Christmas holidays every 2 years or so. I enjoy the first story Angels & Other Strangers the most. Some readers will see them as as dated such as the references to the Biafran famine (Tidings of Joy). All the stories provide a sense of hope in the midst of very human failings and suffering. The first Christmas began with the poor and simple. These stories remind us that He has a "preferential option for the poor."
Aban (Aby)
Dec 26, 2012 Aban (Aby) rated it really liked it
Katherine Paterson is a writer of children's fiction and all her books are outstanding. This is a book of short Christmas stories, which is suitable for all ages and, over the years, I have read and reread these heartwarming stories which write of loss, heart-ache, love and (above all) hope. I have been ill this holiday period and what could be better than to curl up with this delightful book? I would HIGHLY recommend it!
Dec 27, 2010 Erin rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas
This is an old favorite. It is a collection of short stories that all center around Christmas. Perhaps the most famous is "Maggie's Gift" about an old man that takes in two foster children because he doesn't want to be alone for Christmas.

On a side note, Katherine Paterson is the same person who wrote "Bridge to Terabithia."
Jan 01, 2009 Elle rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who are looking out for Christmas stories
Recommended to Elle by: my mother who bought it for christmas
I enjoyed these stories. They are darker than other Christmas stories, but nearly all the characters find hope in the end, which is inspiring. They do get a little old after a while (I've read her other collection, too), but it's understandable since she wrote a story every year for around twenty years. These were almost the very first stories she ever wrote.
Dec 23, 2014 Reba rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Katherine Paterson + Short Stories + Christmas. I was psyched. But for me? = Meh. These read like dated scripts for Lifetime movies, and not in a good way. I just wasn't feeling the magic. Maybe I'm to cynical and jaded, but I don't really think that's it. Even allowing for schmaltzy-Christmasey gooeyness, many of these stories fell flat for me.
Dec 20, 2008 Mary rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya
A collection of what are supposed to be inspirational Christmas stories, but turn out to be overly sentimental or mawkishly sappy. Apparently it really is difficult to write a good Christmas story. Dickens, here I come.
Dec 20, 2013 Tricia rated it did not like it
I'm not very critical when it comes to books. I like most of what I read. But this book of short Christmas stories was bizarre. The stories were more dark and depressing than uplifting. Good thing it was short, because it was a waste of time.
Jan 21, 2008 Barb rated it liked it
Katherine Paterson explores the ramifications of the birth of Christ in this small volume of short stories about Christmas. Her characters are drawn from real life, but her approach is a bit sentimental.
Dec 21, 2012 Nina rated it really liked it
Read this as an early teen, and was surprised how many passages still seemed fresh in my memory. This book has religious themes (the stories started as sermons) but they aren't heavy-handed for the most part. Very touching, and a moving read for the season.
Jun 09, 2009 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas, family
Maggie's Gift is included in this wonderful collection of Christmas stories. It is a winner for a family read. An defiant orphan and her little brother, a widower on a pension, a church service and an unexpected outcome come together to reinforce the real meaning of Christmas.
Dec 13, 2013 Pam rated it it was amazing
I've read this book every Christmas for many years. In fact, my copy is copyrighted 1972. It gets me in the mood every year.
Dec 07, 2008 Suzi rated it it was amazing
Katherine Paterson is one of my favorite authors. This collection of Christmas stories is a gem. I've been thinking it's time to re-read it.
Dec 27, 2010 Sandra rated it really liked it
Timeless stories for the Christmas season -- you just can't beat Paterson for stories of faith for all ages.
Laurie rated it it was amazing
Jul 29, 2011
Janet Getz
Janet Getz rated it it was amazing
Sep 28, 2013
Laura rated it it was ok
Jul 03, 2007
Kim Luke
Kim Luke rated it really liked it
Jun 15, 2014
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Oct 21, 2012
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Nov 28, 2014
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Oct 15, 2013
Mary Beth
Mary Beth rated it it was amazing
Feb 08, 2016
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Jim rated it it was amazing
Dec 14, 2011
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From author's website:

People are always asking me questions I don't have answers for. One is, "When did you first know that you wanted to become a writer?" The fact is that I never wanted to be a writer, at least not when I was a child, or even a young woman. Today I want very much to be a writer. But when I was ten, I wanted to be either a movie star or a missionary. When I was twenty, I wanted t
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