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What Child Is This?: A Christmas Story
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What Child Is This?: A Christmas Story

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  519 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
Not everyone is lucky at Christmas. Some people would call 16-year-old Liz Kitchell and her family truly fortunate, but it doesn't feel that way to her. It seems that only a miracle can give 8-year-old Katie her holiday wish. She wants a family, something she does not have as a foster child. As for 17-year-old Matt, he too is in a foster home and is finally letting himself ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 12th 1999 by Laurel Leaf (first published November 1st 1990)
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 02, 2015 Brianne rated it liked it
This book is an easy read. I enjoyed it although I think that the ending was too predictable.
Dec 24, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult-teen
“What Child is This” is an adorable Christmas story. The story alternates chapters between three 16 year old teens. Liz’s family is going all out this year for Christmas, but seems to have lost the true meaning after the death of her niece. Tack’s father runs the local inn and “fancy restaurant”. His youth group has placed a Christmas tree in the restaurant where local needy and foster kids can hang their “wish bell” on it. Matt is foster child and thinks he has finally found a family that coul ...more
Dec 22, 2011 Erin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas
Get out the tissues, I cried most of the way through. The message is clear, foster kids need families too. The story is centered on two foster children that have had lives full of disappointments and sadness. Both have known what it means to be rejected. At one point, the older foster boy thinks, "Who is going to want to adopt an 8 year old girl?" I'm afraid that his question reflects reality, who wants older children? Unfortunately, not enough people or the people in the story that need the mon ...more
Apr 05, 2009 Jen rated it it was amazing
Even having read this about seven or so times, I never get tired of it. The decision to head chapters with song lines instead of numbers gives each snippet a different personality. The characters are beautifully real. Cooney skirts the edges of religion with just enough passion to ask the question of Christmas and then leave the reader alone with his or her answer; there are no heavy-handed decisions either way here. A wonderful tale of Hope, one of the greatest gifts of all.
Dec 10, 2009 Liz rated it liked it
interesting view of children who are in foster care- about dreams and hopes and giving during the Christmas season- with unselfishness-
Christina .Hagmann
Dec 16, 2015 Christina .Hagmann rated it really liked it
What a happy little Christmas story!
Jun 17, 2013 Gale rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas

I found this book interesting, fast and easy to read, but must confess that I had not considered the plight of many foster children and foster parents. Especially poignant during a holiday season I found the story somewhat disjointed, since there were no real chapters, but many short segments--each introduced by a line from a Christmas carol. Sections shifted focus from one teenager (or child or adult) to another, so it requires literary flexibilit
Nov 19, 2013 Nick rated it really liked it
Deckle is beautiful on Christmas cards with its fluffy, snow-like edge. But a torn edge in this book leads to a foster child's dashed hopes. And if ever those hopes were to come back together,
it would take timing as perfect as formed Jesus Christ's nativity.

Caroline Cooney paints two foster children's stories one scene, one thought at a time, peering for a moment through one character's perspective, then the next. The children with birth families, the foster children, the social worker, the fost
Jan 02, 2014 JilliePop rated it really liked it
Recommended to JilliePop by: Jennifer Jones
I started this book after Christmas even though this is a Christmas story. It had been in my TBR pile for way too long, and I was not going to go another year without reading it. "What Child Is This?" is a wonderfully written story about four very different kids who are all looking for hope, belonging, and the meaning of Christmas. Be prepared to have your heartstrings tugged on, and perhaps have some tissues handy if you're going to read this book...on her Christmas bell, Katie, age 8, wants a ...more
Jed Day
Nov 14, 2015 Jed Day rated it it was amazing
I read the book, What Child Is This?, by Caroline B. Cooney. It was about two foster children who live with a family. Each foster children gets to pick a present they want, they write it on special paper, and then put them on Christmas Tree's in stores. One of the foster children named Katie sneaks a second paper. On it, the other foster child named Matt who was older, wrote that Katie wanted a family for Christmas. They were only supposed to chose little presents. When Christmas rolls around, ...more
Michaela Hayes
Dec 17, 2009 Michaela Hayes rated it did not like it
this was the most awful book i have ever read. and all you pplz out there who like it there is something wrong with you brain! if i could give it 0 stars i would. if i could give it negative eighty two stars i would! don't EVER read this book EVER! unless you like boring, pointless, completely not-creative book in the world! it is the only book i didn't like one bit! and i had to read it for a book report it was awful.
Jun 04, 2012 David rated it really liked it
I want to say that I really enjoyed this book. It is very good Christmas story about a little girl who want a family. It made me to think about my self. The message of this book was very clear.For me, the BEST book I've read all year! I was so moved by how everyone who wanted to do good got the opportunity, and they took the opportunities to do the right things. I would recomed to my friends to read this book because this book is incredible awesome book.
Dec 26, 2011 Jodi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women
Shelves: christmas, chick-lit
Nice, warm, fuzzy Christmas read about making wishes and hoping they come true. Also, I enjoyed thinking about how we perceive others isn't always accurate. I found the Kitchell parents to be horrible but was so glad their daughter, Liz had a heart. In the end, I was so glad Katie, the foster girl who wished for a family found one. Very soap-operish but nice to read at Christmas-time!

The free shelf at the library provided me with another great book!
Dec 22, 2010 Amanda rated it really liked it
I have to admit that I really enjoyed this book. It is a little sappy and predictable, but it was a very sweet and hopeful christmas story. I am glad I picked it up. I think it is a great story about hope and love and people trying to find the true meaning of Christmas and life. I enjoyed the way it was written, with the song titles for chapter headings as well. Very sweet and a feel good story. It made me think as well and reevaluate myself.
Jan 12, 2013 Lana rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult-read
What Child is This? is a wonderful book that pulls on the heartstrings but maintains a good balance of reality as it presents the lives of children who are looking for a place to belong. The Christmas story is woven in the plot smoothly from the bells on the tree to the pageant at the conclusion. This book works as a read-aloud in the middle school classroom. A great, touching read!
Dec 10, 2013 Kymberly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013, book-club
Filled with the true meaning of Christmas, follow real characters through their path to discovering what this wonderful time of year is, and the most important thing; family and love. It's not about the size of the gift, but the meaning behind it. And this story really shows you that even the smallest kindness can be a gift, and the biggest, best gift of all is the gift of love and hope
Jan 13, 2016 Natalie rated it really liked it
I only gave this story four stars because in the beginning it was hard to follow because each chapter is a different person's POV and the chapters are short, so until you get to know the characters it is a bit hard to follow. The ending is a little predictable, but is part of any Christmas story that ends in joy.
Elaine Brochtrup
Jan 01, 2014 Elaine Brochtrup rated it really liked it
A Christmas book I picked up for my 13-year old daughter (I get them one each year). I enjoyed it too! An eye opener of the realities of the foster system and how the children learn to not hope/believe in too much...sad. Makes you count your blessings.
Dec 19, 2014 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This was a nice Christmas read with an intriguing story of rich kids and foster children. It's told from many different view points, and I enjoyed that aspect. However, there was some religion, but no true faith, and that bothered me. Still, a quick, nice read for this time of year.
Kristi Anderson
Nov 22, 2015 Kristi Anderson rated it really liked it
Very cute little Christmas story about being a foster kid during the Christmas season. A good reminder that some people just want a family for Christmas. Fast read, a little predictable, but definitely worth reading.
Dec 19, 2014 Phoebe rated it liked it
Sweet Christmas story, but the poor editing was a little distracting at times. That being said, I've read it before and will probably read it again next year:)
Dec 20, 2014 Lauren rated it liked it
Pretty heavy-handed "True Meaning of Christmas" stuff, but I was looking for something heartwarming and seasonal and this fit the bill.
Jan 05, 2015 Patricia rated it it was amazing
I usually hate books from different points of view, but I enjoyed this one. I read it after Christmas. I cried.
Tori Christensen
Jan 03, 2015 Tori Christensen rated it really liked it
I think adorable is a good adjective, as another reader said. just the kind of study I want around Christmas, good, happy, feel good.
Tallitha Job
Apr 12, 2015 Tallitha Job rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, simply put, this little story is my favorite Christmas book!
Jan 29, 2016 Julie rated it liked it
Predictable but uplifting story of some teenagers learning the true meaning of Christmas.
Kim Goff
Dec 27, 2015 Kim Goff rated it really liked it
easy read with a heartwarming Christmas theme, but the ending was a little abrupt
Anne Wall
Feb 16, 2015 Anne Wall rated it it was amazing
Good Tearjerker
Jan 02, 2017 Margaret rated it liked it
This was a sweet little story. I enjoyed reading it.
Nov 29, 2016 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! If you're looking for a quick read that will make you feel good this is it. :-)
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Caroline Cooney knew in sixth grade that she wanted to be a writer when "the best teacher I ever had in my life" made writing her main focus. "He used to rip off covers from The New Yorker and pass them around and make us write a short story on whichever cover we got. I started writing then and never stopped!"
When her children were young, Caroline started writing books for young people -- with rem
More about Caroline B. Cooney...

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