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Christmas in Canaan

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  49 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
I reckon there's nuthin' worth learnin' from the coloreds, DJ answered, again turning to the window.That right? his father asked 'Nuthin' worth learning from them folks?Yeah, DJ said. Nuthin'. Completely nuthin'.In the quiet, rural town of Canaan, Texas, a clash between two classmates -- one, a tough farm boy, and the other, a bright, black, aspiring writer -- spins into a ...more
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published September 19th 2002)
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Leah Good
Racial tension and a fight between school boys seems an unlikely start for a Christmas story, yet that is exactly how Christmas in Canaan begins. Rodney, a smart black boy, lives with his grandmother. DJ, a white boy, is the son of a farmer and struggles with school. After getting into a fight, both boys resent each other. They are horrified when DJ’s father and Rodney’s grandmother force them to live together for four days. They might have remained enemies if not for an injured dog. As they ten ...more
Vivian
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels, ya, tween
Set in East Texas a half-century ago, two boys strike up an unexpected and unlikely friendship when the father of one of the boys decides it's time for his son to walk in the other boy's shoes (and vice versa with the other boy who lives with his grandmother) for a week. Their friendship survives from age ten thru their teen years at which time the stakes are raised and they become even closer friends as they weather hardships.

Through the bulk of the book it seems to be a novel for Tweens or Te
...more
Chris Meads
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was one heartwarming book (and also a good movie to watch at Christmas on the Hallmark Channel).

DJ is a white boy who has trouble in school--he never gets his homework done since he has to help at home. Rodney is black and a good student, reads and writes all the time. One day on the bus, DJ asks what the capital of New York is and most of his friends tell him it's New York City. But a voice at the back of the bus tells him it's Albany. DJ finds out it's Rodney that answers and a fight ensu
...more
Diana
"Guess if I'd done my homework that day, none of this would be happenin'."
I've always liked that quote and the whole conversation surrounding it, had DJ done his homework he never would have fought with Rodney and they never would have been forced to spend time getting to know each other. Causing them both to overcome their differences and feelings about each other and making them lifelong friends.
I'd actually never read the book before this, it's just incredibly similar to the Hallmark movie,
...more
Scalingv scaling
Jan 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
I loved this book, I saw the movie on the either the Hallmark channel or Lifetime channel. It was so good I bought the book for my dad and myself. It is a feel good book and movie. It is set in small town east texas in the early 60's. Easy read I highly recommend. Not just for Christmas reading!
Cyndi
Dec 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas
Better than some Christmas books. Had the predictable good ending but a racial twist is thrown in. I liked the ending which made up for some slow parts at the beginning. Put me in the Christmas spirit. Very easy to read and goes quick.
Jenn
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written story by the singer Kenny Rogers and co-author about race in the olden days. I really enjoyed this book. The movie is almost spot on as well. Read the book before the movie is my suggestion, enjoyed both.
Meghan
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
Notes from my review at age 12:

-I liked this book but there was cussing
-Christmas was not as key as family
Nellie K.
I Saw the movie last year. Now I need to read the book.
Carolyn
Dec 15, 2010 rated it liked it
I felt pretty enthusiastic about the first half of this book but the believability waned in the second half. Overall, it cheered me which is what I want from a Christmas book.
Carissa
Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Loved it also enjoyed both Hallmark channel movies based on the book.
Amy
Dec 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas
I found this to be a sweet book about looking beyond race, friendship, family, and gratitude.
Nicole Estes
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent Christmas Read.
Lulu
Dec 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth
Highly recommend for those in middle school range. Haven't picked it up in so long, but still have lingering feelings towards it.
Cheeseweasley
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Oct 27, 2012
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Kenneth Flusche
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a good quick read, it will also make your eyes water as good as onions.
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“That’s what I always wanted to know. Why would some fella be willing to do something generous for a kid he doesn’t even know?” Rodney asked. “Have to say I’m surprised, Mr. Burton. Of all the people on the face of the earth,” he said, his voice softening, “I figured if anyone knew the answer to that one, it’d be you.” 2 likes
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