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The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story Hardcover – September 30, 1988


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dial; 1st edition (September 30, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080370299X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803702998
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 9.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Armistice has been declared, but still there is no sign of Ruthie's father in their little Appalachian town. So, in accordance with the traditions of Pine Grove, it falls to Ruthie and her mother to bring home the perfect Christmas tree to donate to the town. Ruthie had accompanied her father to the rocky cliff where he marked a tree in the spring, so she and her mother set out to find it again, and haul it home. Their trip becomes the basisovernightof a new town legend; Ruthie, chosen for the role of the heavenly angel in the the church Christmas play, finds herself outfitted in a madeover wedding dress of the finest silkanother "miracle" wrought by her hardworking mother. An accomplished, fluid telling garnishes this simple story, as do Cooney's moonlit paintings of wintry evenings and the welcoming glow of fire and lanterns. Ruthie is more or less an observer; her mother is the real heroine. But the way they work together to keep their family's duty is rendered in a harmonious blending of text and pictures. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 69 customer reviews
Beautiful story and illustrations.
Bon23
If you are putting together a Christmas story collection, "The Year of the Perfect Christmas" Tree should be one of your selections.
Elizabeth
Like every year before, I look forward to our family tradition and having my Mother read this to me, my sisters, and my niece and 3 nephews.
Diva girl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth on October 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I enjoy reading this book every year around Christmas time. My mom first read it to me when I was little. I am sophomore in High School now and I still find delight in reading this classic Christmas story. Since I am older now, and have a deeper understanding of compassion, I have discovered a whole new meaning to the story. If you are putting together a Christmas story collection, "The Year of the Perfect Christmas" Tree should be one of your selections.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn on December 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As a teacher, I found this book so valuable as a teaching tool. It is a book that teaches the value of family, material things, memories, nature, and history. Life cycles, the seasons, and holidays are so important to the family in the book. It teaches how a family values relationships and plans for the future to insure those relationships. There is nothing hap-hazard in this masterfully written book. It is a true gem. I have found that it correlates to all subjects in primary grades and its historical value is supurb. The contribution of Gloria Huston's illustrations are a perfect blend with the text of the book. Text and illustrations hold each other's hands from beginning to end. I looked forward to using this book in my instruction each year. Few books have the perfection this one possesses. Buy it, read it over and over, and pass it on to posterity. Their lives will be richer for having experienced this book.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By S. Shoop on January 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was brought home from school with my daughter in first grade. I was frantically trying to get ready for Christmas and was a little frustrated that at this particularly frantic moment, I was asked to read a book with so many words! With my daughter tucked in I began to read. After getting to the end, I couldn't wait to get downstairs and tell my husband about it. The peace and love that is Christmas is what this book so gently reminds you to focus on. It conjures in me the same emotions as when reading "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch. This book should not be missed!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By piiakim pehap on November 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book in 1988 for my children. We read it every year, along with other holiday favorites. And I cry EVERY time I read it. P.S. for teachers: This is a good read-aloud for all ages.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. Waldron on November 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I grew up in the little town that this story is about, Spruce Pine, North Carolina. I just visited there and purchased the book for my grandaughter. I enjoyed the story so much.

And my grandaughter loved it. The descriptions reminded me so much of home and family and how we enjoyed the holidays together. The language is perfectly aligned with the customs and culture of the Appalachian People. I am so thankful for this book and the wonderful memories it has returned to me.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rachel on September 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As the title states, the book is truly "classic". As a small child my Mother would always read this to me while I was tucked in under the sheets on a snowy night. And that is just what this book is meant for: memories. The miracle that happens to the young girl and her mother on Christmas Eve has brought many to a slight misty-eyed smile, as I have witnessed through sharing it. It is more than just the story; the pictures are amazingly beautiful. Certain one of those "togetherness" books in times to share with your family, truely catching that magic of Christmas.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By L. Winkler on September 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is the very best Christmas story book I own (and I own a lot). My little girls ask me to read this over and over and I find it a joy to read it every time. We ALWAYS cry. The kids can feel the love of a mother for her child and the magic of Christmas miracles as we read. We learn that miracles happen because of the love we give to one another. I grew up in the Appalachian mountains and the illustrations make me absoultely homesick, they are breathtaking! I received this book as a gift from my mother and have also given this as gifts which are always very well received. You won't be disappointed wtih this one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on December 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
It would be difficult to find a more fulfilling Christmas story than this little work from out of the past. It has been around for quite a number of years now and there is a reason for that...it is simply good! Every so often you find a work where the text and illustrations completely blend and tell the story for each other and not only do you "hear" the story, but see and feel it at the same time.

The time is during the Great War, the war to end all wars, World War I. The place is in the Appalachian Mountains near a small community. A little girl's father, a person who she loves dearly, takes her into the mountains to find a perfect Christmas Tree for their church; it is their families turn that year to provide the tree. High on a mountain; a crag, the tree is found. Father and daughter will return to harvest it when the time is right.

Ah, but before Christmas, father is called to war; he is gone. His last promise is that the tree will be provided by his family. Time passes. The Father does not return. Finally, the train which is carrying all the returning men from the area pulls into town. The father is not on it.

Christmas is closer and closer. Will the tree be provided?

This is truly a heartwarming story and catches the true spirit of Christmas so very, very well. It is the story of sacrificing, giving and pure love.

From a historical angle, the author has captured the period perfectly. I was absolutely delighted to come across words and terms such as "poke," "crags," "britches," and so many more. The author has capture the people and culture of that day, time and place perfectly. We will see days like that no more, but we have and will see the same emotions raging through families.
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