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The Christmas Doll

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  696 ratings  ·  108 reviews
In a heartwarming novel that is destined to become a Christmas classic, acclaimed author Elvira Woodruff tells the story of two orphaned sisters whose lives are forever changed by a magical doll.

Lucy and Glory are orphaned sisters with no real place to call home. Only their memories of a beautiful doll named Morning Glory brighten their bleak lives. When a deadly fever
Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published 2000)
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Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  696 ratings  ·  108 reviews

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Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: children who enjoy too-good-to-be-true Christmas tales, or doll tales
While many if not most of the general themes of this slight little story, of Elvira Woodruff's The Christmas Doll are indeed interesting enough, and while it does paint a generally realistic enough picture of poverty and workhouse conditions of/in late 19th century London, the story itself is just much too melodramatic and implausible for my own personal tastes. For the painful and heartbreaking reality of the two orphaned sisters' in all ways massively desperate plight is in my humble opinion ...more
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers who like christmas stories, books about orphans and dolls
Read aloud to my daughter, I would perhaps rate 3 but she thought nearer 4 stars. This book had all the ingredients we love for a story, orphans, escape from cruel orphanage, dolls, christmas, happy ending etc, but it was so short, and events happened in a quick and predictable way. The escape from the orphanage was decided and then they escaped. We would have liked to have been on the edge of our seats a bit, enjoying their planning and wondering if they would make it. There are some parts ...more
Rebekah Morris
Dec 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas
3.5 stars
My heart goes out to these two sisters, and though the beginning is a bit hard to read because of the harsh conditions, the middle of the book begins to warm things, and by the end a cozy feeling leaves me satisfied.

There really isn’t any “magical powers” in this story. And it’s not a Christian book, so the true story of Christmas is not very well presented. However there is a good message about Christmas. The two sisters, Lucy and Glory are both so sweet and kind. It is a tender story
Heartwarming. Classic. Beautiful.
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas
My daughter told me I should read this book last year when I was doing the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge, but I never got to it. So, I decided to read it this year. It is the story of two orphan girls who escape the workhouse and live on the streets in the city. The elder, Lucy, got a job at a doll's shop when she went in to try to sell a doll she had found in the mud. She happened to be wearing her sister Glory's apron upon which she had stitched a little Morning Glory flower. The ...more
Reham La-yramo
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The first book I ever bought...I think I was in grade four...I still remember every page clearly because I read over 10 times... it's very inspiring and sad at the same time... I cried through the while book because it was just so touching.
I love how lucy describes the little things that are so important to her being and orphan and her love towards her sister is what gave them the will to survive the cold London streets.
My dad has donated away my copy of this book :( I'd pay anything to have a
Carrie ReadingtoKnow
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I picked this one up at a used bookstore on a whim and I'm so glad that I did! It tells the story of two sisters, Lucy and Glory, orphans who live in a workhouse near London. The two girls face illness and separation if they do not escape so they run away, eventually finding work and a new home.

This is a good story to read right before you read "A Christmas Carol" as it better describes the "surplus population" situation which is referenced by Scrooge. Ultimately it's a feel good story with its
Erica Douglas
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
My girls and I really enjoyed reading this together. Set in 19th century London, this story follows two young orphaned sisters who find themselves alone and attempting to survive on the streets. The starkness of their situation could be scary for some kids but my girls loved it. Recommended for 6-10 year olds.
Tisha (IG: Bluestocking629)
While extremely predictable it was a very sweet story with an all too forgotten message: 'tis better to give than receive.

It's a pretty sad story throughout most of the book. I don't have kids so I can't say if it's too sad for certain ages but be cautious.

Enjoyable Christmas read.
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: holidays, hoopla
3.5 stars
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Children's book (possibly intended for ages 8-14). Won at a library giveaway as an adult so I read it! It is a beautiful, heartwarming story and I will save it for my kids to read when they were older! Definitely recommend it!
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh! My favorite Christmas story!

Just beautiful! My heart is full of joy!
Dec 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The Christmas Doll is a story about two orphans who were being brought to a factory and were forced to work there. It's setting is in London, where the time is 150 years ago, and it was a very dark society at that time. The were sisters, and everyday the factory they had very less food to eat, and the quality of the food is very poor. Then the younger sister got sick and was being separated from her sister. And this led to the escape of the two sisters from the factory. After the escape they had ...more
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This tender story takes place in mid 1800's London where two orphaned sisters escape from the workhouse where they lived to try to make it on their own. London back then was not a kind place for those down on their luck, but Lucy, the older sister is determined to keep her little sister Glory safe even in the desperate situation in which they now find themselves.
Alyssa Bloedow
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book is written by an author named Elvira Woodruff. She has written many books including "The Christmas Doll". This story can compare to my life because i had lost a doll from when i was about three years old. I had recently cleaned my closet and had found it. I was so happy about finding her because i got her from my uncle and she meant so much to me.
Izzy An
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this heart warming story. Even though these two orphans went through difficult times, and even more difficult people, these two sisters love for each other encouraged them to push on for a better future. I loved how their hard work and courage paid off in such a cruel world. It's a Christmas story that would warm anyone's heart.
Amy Best
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-with-kiddos
My kids and I found this book engaging and sweet, with a sweet demonstration of sacrificial love at the end.
Miss December
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I'd give this book 10 stars if I could.

(Some of the reviews on here make me laugh because they have nothing to do with the book itself. But if you're of sound mind, and are interested in this as a book to read, please proceed. If not, there are plenty of skewered "reviews" on here judging it for being too bleak or not about Christ in Christmas. LOLZ)

This book appealed to me because of the bleak, Victorian circumstances of the girls and the realistic portrayals of
Sep 01, 2019 rated it liked it
“Secrets of the Human and a Doll’s Heart”

Set in Victorian England under conditions straight out of Dickens, this story presents a grim depiction of life in a London workhouse (cruel places to remove poor orphans from polite society’s view) and on the streets. Sisters Lucy and little Glory, fearing dreaded separation, risk everything to escape their callous existence at Grimstone—an apt description of the “home.” But survival on the streets and back alleys of London proves dangerous as well,
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Christmas doll is a heartwarming story about two orphans named Lucy and Glory.
Lucy has always been responsible for glory. They’ve never had anyone truly to look after them and never have known what a parents love is like. The only love they’ve experienced it from each other and the few short story’s Lucy’s tells glory about a very nice doll. The orphanage starts getting a deadly sickness spreading around and glory is sent to where most girls say no one comes back. Lucy make a decision to
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it
A touching story about a very bleak time for orphaned children in Victorian England. I have always enjoyed the books of Elivira Woodruff and I wanted a Christmas book to add to my holiday enjoyment. This started out very sadly, much in the mood of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and only got sadder as the two little sisters escaped from the workhouse to avoid the spreading sickness that was killing off several children a day. The introduction of several kindnesses of strangers and their muck ...more
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a cute story and I can tell I would have loved it when I was a child. There was a stark contrast throughout the book though. There were descriptions of what life was like for orphaned children in Victorian England, including multiple cases of death. Somehow, though, the story was almost sickeningly sweet. I'm not sure if it was the characterizations or the plotline, but it really soften the harshness of the girls' situations.

Still, I'm 29, and this book wasn't written for me. I can
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kaitlyn S.
This is one I read just about yearly. And I prefer to read it out loud. This year I read it to my seven year old sister, and we just finished it tonight. It was the first time I'd shared it with her, and she cried at the ending.

While not profound, the simplicity of this book always touches my heart. It was one of the first books I read by myself, and it was one of the first books I purchased by myself. I've read it every year for about 16 years, so that should attest to the specialness of the
Maria Antonia
This story seems to me to be a hybrid of a Charles Dickens/George MacDonald tale... It's about two little orphans who run away from the workhouse and end up on the streets of London. I did like the relationship the two sisters had, and the boy they meet is a fun addition. I love the element of the doll-maker, so that was definitely a bonus for me.

In many ways, the story isn't terribly realistic. It almost has a fairy tale quality to it. However, if you know that going in, you can enjoy it for
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
We listened to the audiobook of this book yesterday on a small road trip. I had heard it was sad, but holy cow. I have to admit that about halfway through this book I was thinking I’d made a mistake, because my 9yo was like “This book is very depressing!”

But, it turns around. Stay strong. Ha! It’s a beautiful story, so well written, brings a great historical feel to it... it’s truly a classic. I think it’s been my all time favorite Christmas read aloud!
Samantha Bartley
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This story was so sweet! It’s super short but oh so adorable. I love how even though this story was written less than twenty years ago, it reads like a Dickens novel. The descriptions are so good and the characters were very developed for being such a short book. I could see myself reading this every Christmas from now on.
Jessica Riben
Title: The Christmas Doll
Author: Elvira Woodruff
Illustrator: N/A
Genre: Historical Fiction
Theme(s): Orphans, Christmas, Dolls
Opening line/sentence: Long ago in London Town, at a time when the muffin man’s cries began the day, and the lamplighter ushered in the night, two young girls lived together in the bleak, cold shelter of a public workhouse.
Brief Book Summary: Lucy and Glory are two orphaned sisters who have no place to call home. One day they escape and are on the streets of London to fend
Dec 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Syrupy sweet, predictable and great frothy fun for the Christmas season. From the very first sentence you hope (and know) that Lucy and Glory are going to survive the mean streets of London and connect with a perfect doll. This could become a household staple like Rumer Godden's The Story Of Holly and Ivy, which I've loved since I was a little girl.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An orphan story about 2 sisters, lost doll and a found doll, no home to finding a home. Sad at times and hopeful at the end. may be a bit sappy but would be a nice story to read with your kids with a lesson on kindness and giving of yourself.

Bernadette Dunne's narration was great, every character had their own voice and emotion, which was important in this story.

Nice Christmas story!
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Well-known for her popular children’s stories, author Elvira Woodruff had a long route to becoming a writer. In fact, one of her first jobs after leaving college was driving an ice cream truck. She has also worked as a receptionist, a janitor, a window dresser, a gardener, a shop owner, an assistant librarian, a waitress, and a storyteller. After working for several years in the children’s room of ...more