Oliver and Toby have a respect for each other, masked by their competitive leanings. They both learn a valuable lesson; Oliver takes an opportunity to help and include Toby, and Toby learns that a friendship offered needs to be accepted to achieve a form of redemption.The real meaning of Christmas is fully explored in this book and the conclusion is both satisfying and, at the same time, astonishing.There are more things in heaven and on earth to occupy their minds, and it becomes apparent that there are not always easy explanations for some of the strange and wonderful things that begin to happen as they celebrate the onset of Christmas.There are acts of kindness and grace that are repaid in mysterious ways that cannot be explained if we continue to be blind to magic and the power of love.
THE HERALD ANGELS
DAVID NAUGHTON LEAVY
The mix of everyday life with children, ordinary families, a Primary School, a nativity play, shopping for Christmas presents on Christmas Eve has produced a wonderful Christmas story.
The story builds gently but surely towards Christmas Day and climaxes with …...................
David Naughton Leavy has brought back the Christmases of so many people in such a way that I was reliving many of my own Christmases and I realised that possibly I had missed some of the magic of Christmas as a child but saw it again in my memories of Christmases past when my children were young and “believed”.
This is a book that can be easily shared by parents/adults and children. Teachers of the older pupils in Primary schools could share it with them at the end of the term just before Christmas.
It is a book that kindles the imagination to wondering about the links between people and where little kindnesses can lead to wonderful outcomes.
David Naughton Leavy has put the magic back into Christmas with his first book The Herald Angels. He should be congratulated for doing so.
This book will be enjoyed by adults and children alike.
The memories of the writer's past family Christmas's is present in The Herald Angels as it is a thoughtful story about the Allingham family - Carol and Chris, son Oliver and daughter Ava, who strive to work together and is written with the feeling that preparation for Christmas can be a happy and special time as they all help to decorate the Christmas tree, talk about going Christmas shopping and what they hope to buy for each other, and then attending Midnight Mass together.
The way a possible playground situation is dealt with in the book when Olivier cleverly calmed things down is appreciated by Toby and marks the beginning of a friendship with Oliver.
Arranging the school's Christmas play shows a willingness of teachers, school staff, parents and students to work together to make it a success.
The people the family meet when shopping provided some magical moments which could be very believable at this time of the year.
A truly family Christmas story.
This deceptively simple Christmas story is ideal for youngsters and adults alike. The narrative will appeal to both audiences for different reasons. The magic of Christmas will capture the interest of children, while parents and grandparents will enjoy reliving some memories of their own Christmas childhoods, whether from films, novels or personal experiences.
It seems that the author has drawn on his own Christmas experiences, growing up in Northern England as the story effectively captures the Christmas season in various locations, including the playground and assembly hall of the local school, St. Augustine’s, the village with its shops, the family household, the bus journey, the last minute Christmas shopping and the obligatory Christmas snowstorm.
D.N. Leavy weaves his Christmas tale skilfully through these locations, keeping the reader interested in the developing relationship between the main characters, Oliver and Toby and the magical redemptive message of Christmas that they experience.
The ending will provide a big surprise for younger readers, almost as welcome as opening presents on Christmas morning; adults will try and pick up and link together the many clues the author gives in his enchanting narrative.
This short novella would be an ideal Christmas present for any child from any parent or grandparent and the heartwarming and captivating story will reward both child and adult with regular annual Advent readings.
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