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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
The Man in the Cinder Clouds
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$9.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on October 21, 2011
Just in time for the Christmas season, a fabulous re-imagining of the origins of Santa Claus. Kids will love it, and adults will enjoy reading it to them. Even though the language in The Man in the Cinder Clouds is simple enough for young readers, it almost feels like one of those stories that must be read out loud. For this forty-something father, it brought back the magic I remember as a child when I watched the Christmas specials on TV, except this story seemed more "real". I definitely think it could be a new classic, allowing modern kids to feel the same sense of wonder we all felt when we were young. If you have young kids, all the way up to fifth grade or so, this is a story you must have before the holiday season rolls around.
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on December 20, 2011
Absolutely Breathtaking...The way that the story unfolds in many different ways keeps your attention, old and young alike. This book is excellently well written and lets you be a 'Think Reader'...but the tale takes you in so many different directions from your original thought!! The characters are well developed and the settings of the book make you feel like you are actually in the book...part of the story, amongst the characters. This book displays the good, the bad and those that have (and keep) the faith. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for inspiration and `Holiday Spirit' all year long...this is excellent work Rick!!
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on August 28, 2011
Awesome book! I don't typically read this type of book, but I'm glad that I did. It showed up on my suggestions and I took a chance :) I really liked it, as I read it in one sitting....and I don't do that very often. After I read it and saw the Acknowledgment page, I think I know his wife, Angie. She was a good friend of mine back in the 80's. How ironic! I bookmarked Rick's blog and plan to be a faithful reader...I'm sure it's as entertaining as this book.
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on December 13, 2011
I'm not fond of Christmas. I don't like all of the hurry and flurry to find the perfect gift, I don't like the social expectations of the season, and Christmas just makes me grumpy.

This book showed me that I do love a good Christmas story. It was a true delight to read. It gave me some levity and goodwill to counterbalance my grumpiness towards the holiday. It was creative, full of wit, and a compelling and intriguing story. I will be reading it to my kids in the nights and years to come.
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on September 25, 2015
Nice story with a neat little framing device.
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on December 27, 2011
I enjoyed reading this Christmas tale. The author was very creative with how he created the rules that regulate Christmas. I also loved how the quest for finding human virtue was integral to the plot, rather than just focusing on the gifts. This book was well written and a fun, easy read.
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on November 28, 2011
I stumbled across this book, having never heard of the book or the author, but found it to be a fun read fit for the whole family. Ole Kris Kringle really does exist! Buy it if you want to be entertained. I predict we will here more from and about this author. Keep up the good work Ken.
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on November 18, 2013
I didn't love it. The story lacked depth and and the language sounded like the author was trying too hard. Perfect story for a fifth or sixth grader.
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on August 3, 2011
Christmas in July!! What a perfect time to release this book and to read it! I'm sure all ages will love it- It is an easy read, and a hard to put down book! Would make a great movie during the xmas holidays! Can't wait to read more from this author!
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on January 9, 2012
Please read the blurb to learn the premise. Who could resist a book written by an elf about the origins of Santa Clause? I couldn't, and I'm a little past (okay, way past) the target audience's age. The book was a little like the Princess Bride, a story inside a story. In this case, I'd say nested Christmas presents, and altogether a very nice package with plenty of excitement in the unwrapping.

Too bad I had to fly back home before I finished reading to my sister's grandchildren. We went through 8 chapters while driving around seeing Christmas displays. Every time we got back in the car, they wanted more. I was sad they never got to enjoy some very funny stuff about the animals pulling the sleigh, not the ones you think. Rick's dialogue was often funny, an important skill to keep kids and teens entertained. Okay, adults too.

There were also some tense moments for Kris Kringle along the way to proving to the Elfs that there was some goodness in mankind. Explaining how two children's lives were in danger would spoil the story, so just make sure not to leave off at those places right before bedtime if reading to very young children. Yes, you should read it to very young children. I read Tolkien to my kindergarten son when he balked at learning to read, and he became a voracious reader. Try this book on your young ones if you don't believe me.

If you're still not convinced, but have ever seen your children act selfish or mean, you won't find a better way to convince them to mend their ways without them knowing they're being taught. They'll also gain a new appreciation for the necessities of life like a home, food, warm clothing, and health. You'll also find out how Santa's hair turned white, how he fits all those toys into one bag, and a sleighful of other neat surprises. Overall, it was a very inventive story.

I was surprised to find how well written the book was until I remembered Rick's writing background. And then Susan Quinn, author of the awesome YA Open Minds, told me Rick is in her Indelibles group, which may partly explain the very clean copy. The book isn't perfect. As a writer I would have given it 4.5 stars, but for kids and teens it's a definite 5 star. Go buy it now. If your children are young now,they'll want to read it every year,eventually to their own kids.
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