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A Christmas Memory Hardcover – October 10, 2006


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 660L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; Har/Com edition (October 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375837892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375837890
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A Christmas Memory is the classic memoir of Truman Capote's childhood in rural Alabama. Until he was ten years old, Capote lived with distant relatives. This book is an autobiographical story of those years and his frank and fond memories of one of his cousins, Miss Sook Faulk. The text is illustrated with full color illustrations that add greatly to the story without distracting from Capote's poignant prose. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3 Up-- This tiny gem of a holiday story, although a memory, is told in the present tense, which gives it a certain immediacy. Written by Capote as if a backward glance at his childhood while in college, the story traces a month of pre-Christmas doings in his parentless, poor household. The seven-year-old and his "friend," a distant, eccentric, and in those times elderly (mid-sixties), cousin prepare several dozen fruitcakes and mail them to people they admire. Gathering the pecans from those left behind in the harvest, buying illegally made whiskey for soaking the cakes, getting a little tipsy on the leftovers, cutting their own tree, and decorating it with homemade ornaments are some of the adventures the two share. The outside world barely intrudes on this portrayal of a loving friendship which wraps readers in coziness like the worn scrap quilt warms the old woman. Reminiscent of Lisbeth Zwerger, Peck's watercolor-and-ink full-page illustrations greatly enhance the text. Her use of lighter shades, tawny colors, and fine lines plus a background wash which suggests rather than delineates detail is perfect for this holiday memory of Christmas celebrated in rural Alabama in the early 1930s. --Susan Hepler, Arlington Public Library, VA
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

The story is beautiful and the illustrations also.
Agnes Lorentzen
This is a very poignant story that lets us see into the life of a very young Truman Capote.
jh
Since then, I've read this story many times, and always enjoy each and every page.
Judith Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By The SMART Patrick on November 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"A Christmas Memory" is truly one of the most enduring and heartwarming holiday tales ever to grace the pages of American literature. This soothing bit of classic Americana written by Truman Capote is as warming on a cold winter night as a steaming cup of hot, mulled cider in front of a crackling fire under my grandmother's afghan. The touching and refreshing friendship between Buddy and his "friend" is not only delightful but something to cherish as one teaches the other of the old timeless traditions of the past and the new wonders of the future. Buddy's total acceptance of his "friend" and her somewhat offbeat perspective on life and the changing world around them is what drives this story throughout it's moments of childlike magic to it's ultimate bittersweet conclusion. The belief in love and the bond that can exist between two people of completely different generations and the hope that wherever we go and however many miles may come between us, that bond can never be broken is the foremost message of this precious tale. Given the events of resent months, a story like this helps to heal as well as entertain and is more then just another book to be put away on the shelf. "A Christmas Memory" is a blessed gift to be read again and again, year after year and to be welcomed into home and hearth as a dear, old friend unexpectedly visiting on a chilly Christmas morning.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 25, 1998
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Before I read the text of Capote's masterpiece, I saw the 1967 television production with Geraldine Page and literally fell in love with it. Long before the short story was adapted by many literature anthologies, I read it aloud to my students between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In fact, I had my freshmen students write letters to Mr. Capote in 1977. We were very surprised to receive a postcard of thanks from him in his distinctive, delicate script. The card is a treasure of mine to this day. Now that I have left the classroom, I take out the story and read it aloud to myself at this time of year. It is a gem. I have yet to read it without tears in my eyes when I finish. No piece of literature has ever affected me quite the way "A Christmas Memory" has. I can't imagine any Southerner reading it and not nderstanding the era and locale and the mystique of "fruitcake weather."
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Judith Miller VINE VOICE on December 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Almost 20 years ago, I first saw the film made from this story. It was late one winter night and I couldn't sleep. I turned on the television and found a story with a play type of format. The film had been on for who knows how long, but no matter, I was intrigued by the characters very quickly. The television guide had no listing for what I had seen. I almost felt as if it was a story meant for me alone. After it was over, it haunted me for quite some time, and it took some library research to find out the title and that it was written by Truman Capote. Since then, I've read this story many times, and always enjoy each and every page.
This is such a heart warming tale and the simplicity in which it's written is truly brilliant. It's told through the words of a seven year old boy and relates his memories of Miss Sook Faulk, and the Christmas tradition that they shared during the Great Depression years. The story is autobiographical, and the boy is Truman Capote.
Miss Faulk was Truman's elderly cousin, but she always called him "Buddy." This was in memory of another Buddy who died long ago when she was a girl. Miss Faulk remained a child herself in many ways. The story centers around their Christmas tradition of making fruitcakes for the people that they admired and loved.
This book can be read to or by all ages. The story endures because the love between the characters is so real, and the delight that they have in sharing with others is what we all want Christmas to be.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By emmejay VINE VOICE on December 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A CHRISTMAS MEMORY is Capote's autobiographical short story about an orphaned, 7-year-old boy named Buddy; his fun, elderly woman cousin; their dog Queenie; and their disapproving relatives. It's mischievous, inspirational, and somewhat sad, with a real sense of the 1930s setting and a peek into what likely stirred the writer in Capote.

NOTE: I inadvertently ordered this "Tale Blazers" edition. It is intended for instructional use and includes the text of the short story plus questions and quizzes about vocabulary and reading comprehension. If you're only interested in the text, you can find the story online. But for a more pleasurable reading experience, I recommend the illustrated edition.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By bookwomanseven on December 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
NOTE TO BUYERS: Amazon has conflated 93 reviews from two different books. These are: A Christmas Memory - One Christmas, and The Thanksgiving Visitor (Modern Library) AND the 50th Anniversary Edition of A Christmas Memory. The first book contains three stories; the second book contains only one. I bought the 50th Anniversary Edition of A Christmas Memory, which contains just the one story by Truman Capote. The story is marvelous and the illustrations are simply wonderful, but you won't be getting the three-in-one book that other reviewers are commenting on. I highly recommend this illustrated version of A Christmas Memory - it's a keeper!
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