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The Legend of Holly Claus by [Ryan, Brittney]
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The Legend of Holly Claus Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7–A letter written in 1878 to Santa Claus by a 10-year-old boy asking not for presents but to know what Santa himself wishes for allows the gent (aka Nicholas, King of Forever) and his wife to realize their greatest dream, the birth of a daughter named Holly. She is, however, cursed by an evil sorcerer, Herrikhan, who surrounds her infant heart with ice and promises to return to collect it one day. Holly grows up happy but lonely in the Land of the Immortals, and when she becomes a young woman, she takes a daring and possibly deadly trip to Victorian New York City, where she is determined to do good deeds. There she has adventures, brings joy to the hearts of young and old, and manages to foil Herrikhan with the shining purity of her love. The writing is acceptable, if a little precious, and the descriptions of Nicholas and his household are a pleasure to read, but the whole Herrikhan plot is jarring, inconsistent, and unnecessary; there are more than enough characters and subplots swirling through this novel already without the addition of a leering, black-tongued sorcerer. The drawings scattered throughout are detailed and a touch old-fashioned, a good match for the sentimental tone of the text. Fans of Alcott, Spyri, and Burnett may enjoy this long and convoluted tale.–Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-6. Forever, the Land of the Immortals, is ruled by Nicholas Claus (aka Santa) and populated by a host of greats--ranging from Bach to Merlin to Zeus. Nicholas' daughter, Holly, has been cursed by an evil warlock and must forever dwell in the ice and cold so that her heart does not melt. Drawn to the Empire City (New York, December 1896) in an attempt to break the evil spell, pure-hearted Holly finds work in a toy store, creating lifelike dolls. There she meets Christopher, an adult whose boyhood letter to Santa opens the story, and comes face-to-face with Herrikhan, the wizard who would possess her. A large cast of mostly magical characters operating in a romanticized, cinematic snow-globe world populate this classic tale of good versus evil, which will grow on readers despite its excessive length. Booktalk this offering in the Julie Andrews Collection before Thanksgiving so that families in search of a holiday read-aloud have plenty of time to finish. Kay Weisman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 17921 KB
  • Print Length: 554 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media Teen & Tween (October 30, 2012)
  • Publication Date: October 30, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009O3ZN6A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #458,606 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Library Binding
We read this story for a family read aloud and my daughters, then 4 and 5 really enjoyed the book. The only drawback from their point of view was that it was a bit long compared to our normal read (I wouldn't expect an average 4 yr old to maintain interest for this lengthy story). It is an enchanting tale that is sure to become a classic. I enjoyed all of the various mythical characters taken from different cultures that were woven together in this tale (there is even a sort of glossary in the back with background on the various characters). Very original. While I personally don't approve of exposing children to unnecessary violence, I really didn't feel that this was too frightening as expressed by another reviewer. I'm sure if it were to be made into a movie the scary parts would be overemphasized, but I felt the novel had a good balance. My 5 year old enjoyed this magical story and the fact that good triumped over evil in the end. There was a great mix of magic, mystery, humor, and even good values. The artwork is quite beautiful, as one would expect from this talented illustrator, and definitely contributes to the enchanting feel of the book. I highly recommend this to families whose children enjoy a potpouri of fantasy, love, and mystery.
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Format: Library Binding
Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nick and Father Christmas, is the King of Forever, in a place called The Land of Immortals. He is known for giving presents to good girls and boys the world over. But one day, he gets a special letter from a young boy, asking him what he wants for Christmas, and instantly Santa Claus and his wife are blessed with a miracle: a little bundle of joy whom they name Holly Claus. But with the miracle comes danger, as well as a curse from an evil man named Herrikhan. For Holly Claus' heart is now frozen, and the gates to The Land of Immortals are locked, barring anyone from coming or going. Now, Holly Claus is a grown woman, and decides to break the spell that is holding her people captive. So, accompanied by her four faithful friends - a penguin, fox, wolf, and owl - Holly heads towards Victorian New York, where she encounters many different life-changing, yet dangerous, adventures.

Newcomer Brittney Ryan, has written a book that stands out against many of the children's/young adult books on the market right now. Her vivid descriptions, quirky characters, and wonderful storyline are absolutely amazing, while Laurel Long's black and white sketch illustrations are enchanting, and bring the story to life. THE LEGEND OF HOLLY CLAUS will capture the hearts of readers young and old, and eventually go down in history as one of the greatest fairy tales of our generation.

Erika Sorocco

Book Review Columnist for The Community Bugle Newspaper
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A Kid's Review on June 3, 2005
Format: Library Binding
Holly Claus is the best book ever. The book is seasonal but it may be read during the summer. It is a gripping adventure about the only child born in the land of the immortals. The child happens to be the daughter of Santa Claus. But there is trouble there is a terrible curse cast upon her. This leads her to take a trip to earth at Christmas time. This is a splendid that will capture the heart of most readers. It teaches about kindness and generosity. It makes a wonderful Christmas gift.
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Format: Hardcover



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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am giving this book a mediocre review, but not because it is a bad book. It is actually quite intriguing and well-written. However, it is *not* appropriate for young (or older sensitive) children, and a lot of these other reviews are very deceiving.

I bought it for my 6 year old daughter, and this is something I regret as I am going to have to put the book away after we started reading it. The prologue and first two chapters are excellent. They are reminiscent of a fairy tale mixed with more popular classics like 'Wizard of Oz," "Mary Poppins" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

By the third chapter, we are reading about a sadistic warlock who tortures a sentient mouse and kills it by throwing its body against a wall. Then he summons roaches to eat its body. I read through it fast and my daughter doesn't frighten easily--or we would have stopped right ther. After she went to bed, I read ahead a little, because I was concerned about this scene.

One of the main characters is grievously harmed in front of her love (who was forced to watch) by being smashed against an iron fence. Then warlock summoned a flock of evil birds to tear apart. At the end of this chapter, Santa "closed her lidless eyes."

I am not a mom who hides my child in bubble wrap or sugarcoats the world (ex - I will read my daughter "Harry Potter" and "The Witch, the Lion and the Wardrobe), but I am very shocked people are reading this to young children. I would not recommend this to a child under 10--and some sensitive 10+ year olds may find it too scary. I plan to finish the book myself (it is actually very good for an older reader), but feel sad I need to shelve it from my daughter until she is older. She reads way too well for me to verbally edit it.
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