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A Boy Called Christmas

(Christmas #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  5,666 ratings  ·  902 reviews
You are about to read the true story of Father Christmas.
It is a story that proves that nothing is impossible.
If you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. It is most certainly not for you.
Because this book is FULL of impossible things.

Are you still reading?


Then let us begin . . .

A Boy Called Chri
Hardcover, 266 pages
Published November 16th 2015 by Canongate (first published November 12th 2015)
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Conor Nally It's one hundred per cent a children's book, but adults can enjoy it, too!

Community Reviews

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4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,666 ratings  ·  902 reviews

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Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
One would say that it is not the right month to read this book.

I say every month is the right month to read any book, especially this under-the-radar treasure that makes for a perfect (if somewhat long) bedtime story.

Before he was Father Christmas, Nikolas was just a little boy whose mother died and whose father left on a quest to find proof elves exist, leaving him with his atrocious aunt that treats him like garbage.

But Nikolas, the courageous boy that he is, will not stand still and wait for
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Look at these sweet little kids talking about the book on Youtube!

YouTube Video



Okay, so I got this audio version through the BLOGGING FOR BOOKS program! Thank you!

I very rarely listen to audio books any more because I just don't remember things and can't spell very well. I actually thought this was the hardback, BUT <--- I loved it because the narrator is STEPHEN FRY! I love Stephen Fry and he narrates perfectly!


I loved Nikolas and his story! It's funny and sad!

The story talk
April (Aprilius Maximus)
What an absolute delight. Matt Haig is just incredible. I also highly recommend the audiobook narrated by (my fave) Stephen Fry! :')
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Can you believe there was a time when no one in the world knew about him? A time when he was just an ordinary boy called Nikolas, living in the middle of nowhere, or the middle of Finland, doing nothing with magic except believing in it? A boy who knew very little about the world except the taste of mushroom soup, the feel of a cold north wind, and the stories he was told. And who only had a doll made out of a turnip to play with. But life was going to change for Nikolas, in ways he could never ...more
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Impossible - an old elf swear word :-)

Great Xmas story, out of the box!
Including elves, trolls, pixies and reindeers....
The drawings are just beautiful and cute.
Fun, although also a bit sad here and there....
All in the spirit of Xmas.

A Boy Called Christmas is a tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and an eleven-year-old boy called Nikolas, who isn't afraid to believe in magic.

My name is Father Christmas. When I was your age I was called Nikolas. There will be a lot of people
Britt / Basically Britt
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
oh man, this was such a wonderful Christmas book <3
I think this is such an amazing middle grade read that teaches you about good and bad, love and friendship, and the power of believing in yourself and believing in magic.

What a perfect book to start 2018 with! (and yes, who cares that it's about Christmas?! Christmas books can be read all year round <3). I'm already so ready for Christmas 2018 haha!

*update on December 3rd 2018*
I reread it and loved it just as much! SO READY FOR CHRISTMAS!
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful Christmas book to keep. One of my favorite Christmas books. ♡ the illustrations. Will read again! :)

Rebecca McNutt
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wish I'd had this book when I was a kid. It's a fairly recent publication and yet it has all the qualities of a classic Christmas story. This book is great and one that both adults and kids can enjoy.
In a nutshell: A lovely Christmas story that's perfect for all ages.

This book made me feel like a kid again. That's definitely the biggest thing that's stuck out to me while I was reading, as well as thinking about it after. I believe that there's the potential for anyone to enjoy books principally aimed at kids, but most of the time I can't help but wish I had read these book when I was younger, since I would have loved them even more then. A Boy Called Christmas is definitely a book that I wo
Mayke (acozyliving)☕️
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a full on Children's book and I absolutely loved it! Also lovely illustrations to go with the story. Great Christmas read!
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hey everyone! I've just read the most delightful holiday story and want to share it with you! I read this book to see if it would be a story I would enjoy sharing with my grandson in years to come, and the answer to that is a big YES! It may also find its way into some adult stockings as well next year, for those I know would enjoy it as much as I did. In my opinion it should take its rightful place among family holiday classics that we all know and love.

This is the story of how our beloved Fat
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
Fun, sweet, touching, and a little bit silly. Perfect Christmas read, and one I know my boys will enjoy in the future!
Liz Barnsley
There may be a more adulty review from me at some stage but I wouldn’t count on it as right now I’m a big kid again.

A Boy Called Christmas is, as my son Harry put it upon finishing , “absolutely awesome”.

I could probably leave it there. Harry is 8. He knows more than me on these things, I bow to his superior knowledge. But as it is a sort of review, I’ll expand a bit.

Lots of people have talked about how wonderful and magical it is (true)

Others have mentioned that it has its darker moments. (also
Nat Price
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
“An impossibility is just a possibility you don’t understand yet.”
Oana Ciurdarean
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Such a cute and sweet Christmas story! The story of how Santa Claus actually became whom he is. Wonderfully written, a great novel for both children and adults during the magical time of the year.
Anna (Ink of Books)
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bücherregal
This was so unbelievable and cute and magical! Love it!
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a delightful audiobook to get right around Christmas. The story is classic feeling and has what I believe will have universal appeal. I loved the narration by Stephen Fry. It was perfect for the story. What a great story to celebrate the season and it is oozing with charm and emotion.

I was so happy to find this audiobook on Blogging for Books and receive it in order to provide an honest review.

This will be a new tradition in our house, listening to this over the week leading into Christma
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A heart-warming, whimsical story of an 11-year old Finnish boy named Nikolas, who becomes Father Christmas through tragedy and triumph, supported by his two BFFs: Miika and Blitzen. With some magic thrown in for good measure.

An impossibility is just a possibility you don't understand yet.

Fun, but if you don't believe me, try others:

Just reserved the next one in the series.
Lubinka Dimitrova
I'm not exactly the sentimental type of person who believes Christmas to be a magical place where we get to blissfully live for a month at the end of each year, away from everyday troubles and prosaic worries. So I rarely choose special readings for this time of the year in order to get "in the Christmas mood". But this year, probably due to the exhaustion from the heavy, both volume- and knowledge-wise books that I read throughout the previous months, I decided to spend some mindless hours read ...more
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Utterly charming story for young readers (or for a great read aloud) about the Boy Who Would Be Santa Claus. As you all know, I'm always on the lookout for Christmas books, and was very pleased to have an advance copy of this sent to me. I liked the whimsical tone (too often Christmas stories get very heavy, or even creepy), and the very interesting mythology of this one.

Also, I would like to have a gingerbread room.

Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)
Have you ever wondered how Father Christmas became Father Christmas? I mean, how did a human come to live with Elves anyway? And how did the idea of delivering presents to children all across the world on Christmas Eve come about? Matt Haig takes us on a magical journey through the snowy landscape of Finland to find out how a boy called Christmas became the big man in the red suit that we all know and love as we discover the story behind the magic.

Nikolas lives in a small one-roomed cottage, exi
Rachael Marie
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, fantasy
Absolutely Delightful

A Father Christmas origin story with a wealth of humour, depth and adventure.

“An impossibility is just a possibility you don’t understand yet”

This is the perfect story for Christmas time reading, for yourself or with the children. In this tale we follow Nikolas, or Christmas as his dad calls him (owing to the fact he was born on Christmas day), as he deals with parental loss, an emotionally abusive aunt (who almost puts Umbridge to shame) and a father who may not be as perfe
Zoë ☆
Dec 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This was so cute! Loved that Stephen Fry was the narrator!
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎
I enjoyed this little novel more than The Humans. The paper edition has cute illustrations (thanks to Chris Mould), but the audio version narrated by Stephen Fry it’s great for children (and grownups)!

Fav Quotes:

An impossibility is just a possibility you don’t understand yet.

Perhaps a wish was just a hope with a better aim. If you wished hard enough maybe all kinds of things could happen.

Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspirational
“An impossibility is just a possibility you don’t understand yet”

I know I should have read this book by Christmas time. But ... Christmas is when a person's want, so I read it today xD

A beautiful book about hope, joy and a LOT of good will ;)
Char (lunarchar_)
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-read, audible
Such an adorable short story! And loved the audio version by Stephen fry. 100% recommend
I listened on a recent road trip to the great Stephen Fry narrate this wonderful backstory of Father Christmas. Eleven-year-old Nicholas, who only knows a life of hardship, sets out to find his father who with a group of six other men has traveled to the North Pole in Finland to prove to the king that elves exist. Accompanying Nicolas is his only friend, a mouse, and the two of them have some heart-stopping, harrowing experiences on the quest to find his father and Elfhelm, the kingdom of elves. ...more
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, christmas
*** 3 Stars ***

Even though this is a children's book, I really enjoyed it.
It's the type of story I imagine a grandfather reading to the grandchildren on Christmas Eve, around the tree ❤

If you can, go for the audiobook. It's narrated by Stephen Fry and it's a delight to listen to!

Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: guest-reviews
Review by Beth
The first thing I thought when I finished this book was that it needs to be on telly. On Christmas Day. At 4.30 like the Gruffalo and The Room on the Broom before it. It is an absolutely beautiful Christmas story which deserves to be made into something we can watch as well as read and be enjoyed for years and years to come. A Boy Called Christmas tells us the real truth behind the man we know and love as Father Christmas and how he ended up delivering gifts all around the world ev
Erin Mendoza
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this book to my 6 year old over 5 days. This was written in a style similar to Lemony Snicket. A lot of it went over my son's head, but he listened. It was a little dark at times, but I teared up at the end. Glad we read this.
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Matt Haig was born in Sheffield, England in1975. He writes books for both adults and children, often blending the worlds of domestic reality and outright fantasy, with a quirky twist. His bestselling novels are translated into 28 languages. The Guardian has described his writing as 'delightfully weird' and the New York Times has called him 'a novelist of great talent' whose writing is 'funny, rive ...more

Other books in the series

Christmas (4 books)
  • The Girl Who Saved Christmas (Christmas, #2)
  • Father Christmas and Me (Christmas, #3)
  • The Truth Pixie (Christmas Series, #3.5)
“An impossibility is just a possibility you don’t understand yet” 41 likes
“To lose someone you love is the very worst thing in the world. It creates an invisible hole that you feel you are falling down and will never end. People you love make the world real and solid and when they suddenly go away forever, nothing feels solid any more.” 23 likes
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