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The Gift of the Magi by [Henry, O.]
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The Gift of the Magi Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 373 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

O. Henry's classic tale of Della and Jim, the struggling newlyweds so anxious to give each other a Christmas gift that each sells the one thing the other holds most dear, receives an oddly lifeless treatment here. Heyer's meticulously detailed illustrations are pretty but stilted; the characters look like mannequins. The rueful Jim fares better than poor prematurely middle-aged Della, who at times looks more like his mother than his wife. Still, the story is as touching as ever, and neither time nor mediocre artwork can dim its glory. All ages.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5 Up–An illustrated, unabridged version of the classic short story in which a young husband and wife each, unbeknownst to the other, gives up a most treasured possession to buy the other a wonderful gift. The gifts, of course, are useless as a result, but the couple's love is presumably all the stronger. The sepia-toned watercolors have an authentic period look; the details present in the New York City street scenes and the couple's rather shabby apartment add a strong feeling of time and place to the story. Very different in style from Lisbeth Zwerger's lovely and delicate version (S & S, 2006), this is a fine choice for libraries needing another illustrated edition of this Christmas tale.–Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 54 KB
  • Print Length: 26 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1499216629
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: May 12, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0082Z3S3G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,088 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This is a short story that I read over a decade ago for the first time, and it has stuck with me since then. In the story, it is Christmastime, and we meet the two main characters, a young married couple who have each other and very little else, except the husband's (Jim's) heirloom pocketwatch and the wife's (Della's) hair. In a despirate attempt to provide a worthy present for her beloved husband, Della sells her knee-length hair to buy a gold chain for the pocketwatch. Little does she know, Jim has done something just as extreme for her. This is an inspiring tale that, despite its simplicity, speaks volumes about the sacrifices we willingly make for those we truly love.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book out of nice-cover curiosity and for some light reading to my 2nd grade CCD class, and instead of finding simple children's Christmas book I found a literary masterpiece. Lizabeth Zewerger has transformed O. Henry's very mature adult short story about social poverty and vicarious giving into a children's tale about the true meaning of Christmas. I was awed by the delicateness of Zewerger's watercolors and amazed by the way she perfectly expressed each emotion of O. Henry's tale.

In a world where every holiday (especially Christmas) has been commercialized this book is a symbol of the true meaning of giving. Before you get lost in the hustle and bustle (or if you unfortunately already have) do yourself and your loved ones a favor and pick up this book. It's a great gift for children of all ages and adults too. This is a gift from the heart to give at Christmas.

Reconnect and STAY connected!
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By A Customer on September 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a classic Christmas story in our family and is linked to many Christmas traditions; however, I was disappointed in this copy because of its "editing." Many parts of the original story were missing for no apparent reason. I did, however, find the illistrations lovely and would recommend this book for that reason.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a classic story that was assigned reading material my freshman year of high school. Understated story, very well-written. The Kindle version is nice and I have no complaints with formatting.
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Format: Hardcover
Especially when you are young, short stories seem like they should have some tremendous payoff at the end, if for no other reason than to justify their very brevity. Or perhaps that is simply a function of the fact that we all grow up reading the great tales of O. Henry. And of all those stories and of all those shocking payoffs, there is perhaps no other twist quite like the one at the end of Gift of the Magi.
Jim and Della Young are a wretchedly poor young married couple. Della has just $1.87 to buy a Christmas gift for Jim and between them they have precious little of any value:
Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The other was Della's hair. Had the Queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out of the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.
Well, you either know the rest or else I wouldn't want to ruin it for you. Suffice it to say that O. Henry leaves us with the following thought:
The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men-who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house.
Read more ›
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By Tara on December 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This timeless story of love and sacrifice of a young couple is made even more wonderful by the exquisite illustrations in this version. I saw it in a book store among the children's books but it is a story for all ages not just childen. It is a story and book to be treasured and brought out not just at Christmas but all year.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a story of the strength of love. It takes about 5 minutes to read and will make you think about it long afterwards. It is short and bittersweet and a good reminder that it's not what you have but what you choose to do with it that matters.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
People who failed to read O. Henry (1862-1910) in their youth should read him now, for his stories are very enjoyable. And those who already read his tales, like me, should do so again, for the same reason. Amazon offers this book to kindle owners for free.

This short story is a classic, an unforgettable tale. All that Della had was $1.87, for she and her husband Jim were very poor, and the next day was Christmas. What could she get for her Jim? All she had beside the $1.87 was her love for Jim and his love for her, and her long beautiful hair. All he had was the love and a watch which belonged to his father and before that to his grandfather. Unable to do anything else, she sells her hair for $20 and buys Jim a beautiful watch chain for his beautiful watch. What happens next is, as I said, unforgettable. Even if you know the end, you will want to read it again, for O. Henry knew how to write.
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