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AmySea

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Helen MacInnes
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Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol / illustrated by Brett Helquist

A Christmas Carol - Brett Helquist, Charles Dickens

I've been looking for a version of A Christmas Carol that was accessible to my elementary school aged niece and nephew for awhile now.  I think I found it with this book.  The story was abridged, making it of more of a length that kids that age can handle, but  all the flavor of the original was there.  There wasn't a lot of fluff, and points weren't beaten to death, so kids could get exposure to the story without having to suffer through it.  In addition, the book had some really nice illustrations.

 

It took a few pages for the kids to get a feel for the language, and periodically I stopped to check their understanding.  They got it to a point, but they did need me to explain some of the more complicated language.   At the end I did a quick recap/explanation (mostly for my nephew), and I think they found that helpful.  Both kids were paying excellent attention to the story, which just goes to show that Dickens is good enough to hold the attention of the graphic novel reading, TV watching, videogame obsessed kids of 2014. When we were done reading the book my niece said, "that's a really good story," and right on her heels my nephew said, "yeah, it is."  My niece felt that this story would've been better at Christmas, and of course she's right.  But I found the book today, and it was just begging to be read.  Maybe we'll revisit it December.