Santa and Pete: A Novel of Christmas Present and Past
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Santa and Pete: A Novel of Christmas Present and Past

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  242 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Who would ever guess that the beloved legend of Santa Claus involves an often-untold tale of faith and friendship between two men? Long, long ago Santa Claus had an African partner named Pete, who assisted with the Christmas rounds.
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published June 8th 1999 by Simon & Schuster Ltd (first published November 1st 1998)
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Dec 15, 2010 Kimberly rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kimberly by: book club 12-10
Shelves: book-club, christmas
This could probably be a 2 & 3/4. I just was not happy with the voice of this author. It was about the family story teller and so I think I expected to be pulled in as he weaved his tell. Unfortunately it felt a little disjointed and lacked the ability to in-trance the listener.
The book did have some pluses. I loved the references to history and the sentimental reminder of connecting with our own history. I was also happy to read a Christmas book that was not a cheesy romance.
Dec 08, 2008 dara rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: someone in need of a quick read in honor of African American History Month
Recommended to dara by: a case of mistaken author identity
I feel kind of suckered for not realizing sooner that the Christopher Moore that wrote this one is not the same as the popular author of Lamb. I checked this book out from the library with this misconception in mind, believing--due to its short length--that I would be able to see what all the fuss was about without investing much time. Not only did I not particularly enjoy this book, but it was also written by someone relatively unknown, making having read it all the more pointless.

Despite the s...more
Jay Winters
Book Closing: I picked up Santa and Pete because a.) I was in a hurry in the library and b.) my brother had recommended the author Christopher Moore (who ends up being a different Christopher Moore). Seeing a Christmas book at the beginning of Advent, in addition to it being short...made me scoop it up.

After closing the book, I'm left with two things: a general "Christmas" warm and fuzzy that has nothing to do with Jesus, and a better understanding of what most people mean when they say "Christm...more
I liked the book since it was about family traditions and the real meaning of the holidays whether on celebrates Christmas, Hannaukah, Three Kings Days, Kwanzaa, etc... The story of Santa and Pete is an old tale brought over from the Old World incorporating African and European legends. I liked that the story was told from the child's point of view starting with how he didn't want to go with his grandfather, a city bus driver, at first, but becomes interested while learning about old New York (N...more
Irish Gal
What a great concept - telling a story that has been handed down for generations through a story about a man who is the storyteller for his community and family. America is a melting pot of so many cultures, it was a pleasure to read one person's idea of how one tradition was brought to the colonies and "made American".

Even though my family has celebrated St. Nicholas Day for generations, I only recently learned that Dutch and Belgium cultures include a Moorish helper. Usually he is over-simplif...more
I'm a huge fan of Christopher Moore, author of Bloodsucking Fiends and The Stupidest Christmas Angel. I picked up this book figuring that it was an early work of his written in collaboration...and I was totally wrong. This is a completely different Christopher Moore. Still, I had the book in hand and kept reading. This is a charming novella told from the perpective of an African-American child in the 1960's listening to the tales of his grandfather about St. Nicholas and his friend Pete. The tal...more
This is a very sweet little Christmas tale of St. Nicholas and his forgotten helper... a Moor named Pete. It's actually quite lovely... mixing fiction and non-fiction... with a bit of Christmas, African, Christian & American Indian history and lore all bundled in together... and even a theory on how it came to be that a Dutch leader bought the Island of Manhatten for $24 from the American Indians. It's a lesson of love, tolerance, acceptance, friendship and the strength of family and traditi...more
Book club, December 2010. This felt to me like somebody else's family story that I just didn't have any interest in. Couldn't really relate. It seemed to have some potential, but the writing was just too amateurish. Our book club mostly agreed that we liked the idea of the "ancestors" christmas tree; they had an ornament representing each individual of their family line and as they decorated the tree, they would tell the stories of those "oldsters" and remember and honor their family heritage. A...more
I picked this up thinking it was written by Christopher Moore author of such comedy laden books as Lamb, Coyote Blues and Blood Sucking Fiend. However, this is a different Christopher Moore. The Christopher Moore who co-wrote this story was the Commissioner of New York City Landmarks . It is a cute Christmas story written for all ages. Ties together some of the Dutch "St. Nicholas" traditional stories with an American history connection.

Btw... if you are interested in a hilarious rendition of th...more
Aug 17, 2007 Leslie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Christmas fans
If you are tired of the same old Christmas story every year, you will like this book. The book tells an original Christmas story about St. Nick and his buddy Pete, a Spanish Moor. The child's grandfather tells the story to his grandson and a rapt audience on the grandfather's bus route. The child learns to appreciate his grandfather, and learns a lot about human nature. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Christmas stories, and especially to African-American families looking for a Ch...more
Initially I grabbed this book at the library because I saw that the author was Christopher Moore, thinking it was the author of satire books such as Bloodsucking Fiends. It wasn't the same author, but I'm so glad I took the chance on this one. Its a heart-warming tale of the origins of Christmas, told by a bus driver to his passengers, one of which is his grandson who is forced to ride with him each Saturday. Not only is it an entertaining Christmas story, but also a sweet story of how the youn...more
As is the case for many of those leaving comments I stumbled onto this book while I was looking for books by Christopher Moore the satirist at the library. I realized my error prior to getting very far into the book though and was able to enjoy the story as its own entity. If you read this thinking it is by Christopher Moore - the author of Lamb, Bite Me, the Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, etc. you will likely be disappointed.

This is a quaint story about a boy and his grandfather and how the te...more
Helen Southall
A lovely Christmas story about an African-American boy living in Harlem during the mid-1900’s. His grandfather drives a bus in NY and acts as a roving storyteller providing insight into the history of the city. At Christmastime, “Santa and Pete” is one of the stories that the grandfather tells to his special group of regular riders. The boy rides with him every Saturday and develops a deep bond, an appreciation for the meaning of his African-American heritage and a love of story-telling. He ulti...more
I gave this book three stars when most of the other book club members only gave it two for three reasons.

One, even though the story was not great, it did not give me warm fuzzies and no tears (which is not hard to do in my case) I really liked how the boy came to know, love and admire his grandfather. To see him through the eyes of others. I also loved the historical references, the author is the Commissioner of New York City Landmarks. And third, I liked the importance it placed on family and h...more
i picked this up thinking it was by a different author, but was surprised to find it was a completely different person. it was a surprise good read. the history of santa and his side kick pete from the origins back in holland to their journey into the new world. (america) i must say i loved how the child in this story is hearing this and how it ties to his family history all from listening to his grandpa. grandpa stories are to be treasured!
This was such a great story about Christmas. Having a Dutch mom who immigrated to Canada at a young age it was great to learn of how St Nicholas and Peter began. My Mom's family didn't really bring a lot of hte traditions with them. This is definately a story I will be trying to find for my ever growing Christmas book Collection AND one that my boys will be hearing this coming weekend.
This was a rough read. I picked it up for light reading during my last semester and boy did it drag on. I was hoping for a great story about Santa and Pete's adventures. Instead, I read a dis-jointed story between the grandfather and his grandson on the bus and Santa and Pete fighting in New Amsterdam. Don't waste your time.
An enjoyable story that I would likely have appreciated more if I lived in New York as it draws a great deal from that city's history and landmarks to tell its tale. The book provides an interesting way to teach about early American history in the context of a Christmas story.
Diane Davidson
Absolutely loved this book. I originally thought this was written by the Christopher Moore who wrote The Stupidest Angel but I only had to read the cover to realize this was a very sweet Christmas story about the origin of St. Nicholas. Highly recommend.
What a great Christmas story to include in your Christmas readings. The narrator has a very soft and lulling voice...I just wanted to curl up and sleep. But the story was captivating and one to be read again and again.
Like many others, I picked this book up for a different Christopher Moore. However, I really enjoyed a different point of view from the Christmas stories I was told.
Wonderful story, very easy read.
I will be the first to admit that I really don't like feel-good Christmas stories. And even though this story has its holes, I did enjoy reading it. I enjoyed the emphasis on family and heritage.
I'm not a big fiction reader, but I enjoyed this sweet story about St. Nicholas (the true Santa) and his African partner, Pete. Next year I'llshare it with my kids.
Well-written and heart warming. I loved this book! It's perfect to read in one afternoon on Christmas or Christmas Eve.
I admit I checked this out due to thinking the author was a different Christopher Moore but I still enjoyed it.
Touching little book, with an excellent and oh so truthful point. Loved it.
Wasn't the same Christoper Moore I was expecting but I enjoyed it.
I learned that the author is a different Christopher Moore.
One of the better Christmas fiction I have read.
Mar 12, 2011 Jess added it
Not by the good Christopher Moore. Whoops.
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