This book claims to be the true story of Father Christmas and well, what can I say — it could be, because it is magical, wonderful and brings the whole meaning of Christmas and the Christmas spirit to live.

You may wonder how I know the true story of Father Christmas, and I will tell you that you shouldn’t really question such things. Not right at the start of a book. (S. 3)

It is some kind of a coming of age story about an eleven-year-old boy called Nikolas. A boy, who leads a hard-knock life in the woods of Finland. But one who is good-hearted and never loses his kindness or his hope. His father is an impoverished woodcutter. A few years ago he lost his mother. His father is going on a dangerous journey to the north, towards elfhelm. Nikolas waits and waits and decides to start looking for his father.

But life was going to change for Nikolas, in ways he could never have imagined. (S.4)

He starts his long, magical, dangerous but also wonderful and hopeful journey towards elfhelm, the elf-kingdom. A journey during which Nikolas learns who he truly is and what family and love really mean. A journey of unlikely friendships: Always by his side – his mouse Mikka, which truly believes in cheese, even though he never had one. And a reindeer named Blitzen who likes to wee on people while flying. A book full of snow, dancing, laughing but als kidnapping, more snow and some truth pixies and trolls.

A boy called Christmas by Matt Haig (c) Canongate

A boy called Christmas by Matt Haig (c) Canongate

A book full of remarkable descriptions, terrific illustrations and scenes. It is a bit of a heartache, full of deep thoughts but also full of fun and mischief. A feel-good story with some dark edges in a perfect mix. The perfect book to bring someone into Christmas spirit. A reminder that goodness and kindness are the true kind of magic. I loved how Matt Haig takes Christmas rituals and weaves them into his story. Traditions we all know and recognise at once.

If you loved me more than you loved money, then you would do it. Papa, please. Toys are great. But being good is better than being rich. (S. 179)

A boy called Christmas is not just for Christmas. It is a pick-me-up story where impossible is an old elf swear word. Heartbreaking, tender but hilarious. The perfect book for kids of all age but also for every one who loves Christmas or lost his Christmas spirit. Or just someone who wants to read a feel-good but authentic story with lots of true and beautiful massages and fun.

A boy called Christmas by Matt Haig - backside (c) Canongate

A boy called Christmas by Matt Haig – backside (c) Canongat

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About the book

Author: Matt Haig
Illustration: Chris Mould
Year: 2015
Publisher: Canongate
Deutscher Title: Ein Junge namens Weihnacht
Deutscher Verlag: DTV
Pages: 262
Format: Hardcover mit Schutzumschlag
ISBN: 9781782117896
Preis: 9,99 €


Matt Haig, born in Sheffield, England, in 1975, writes books for adults and children. He often blends the worlds of reality and fantasy with a quirk twist. His bestselling novels are available in 28 languages. Find out more about him here: