Friday, November 27, 2009

Book Tour: For the Love of St. Nick

Looking for a tale of hope and miracles this holiday season? Garasamo Maccagnone's For the Love of St. Nick is one boy's memory of a childhood Christmas miracle. For the Love of St. Nick reminds me of a short story one might read in high school, a story built around the innocence and pain of childhood experiences and around religious sentiment. Its simple, plain-speak language brings a Michigan winter to life in a way that is pure and rich in family values. Heartwarming and at times heartrending I felt a sincere sense of pathos for Tiger, the narrator of memories, and his younger brother wrapped in hope and the true faith of the innocent!
The publisher's description of For the Love of St. Nick:

Two California boys, coping with the loss of their mother, find themselves uprooted when their father, a Navy Commander, is transferred to a base in northern Michigan. With the youngest boy continuously sick the family must survive military life and the northern elements as they dwell in their little hunter's cabin on Lake Huron. When the boy's father, the commander, must leave prior to Christmas to fulfill his secret mission for the United States Military, the boys are surprised by a chance encounter that saves a life, and reunites a family.

I enjoyed the sentimental reminiscences of their mother the boys, Johnny and Tiger, share and the descriptions of their winter excursions--hockey on the pond, snowmobiling, and hikes in the woods. Canadians will also appreciate these passages:

Hockey became our life. Johnny and I couldn't wait to feel the ice under our skates. Pete, Sammy, Alex, and Cooper, whose fathers also worked at the base, greeted us enthusiastically, smacking their sticks against our pads or giving us high fives. We played for hours in one pickup game after another, acting like John Ogrodnick of the Red Wings or Wayne Gretzky, "The Great One", from the Edmonton Oilers. For his age, Johnny was one of the best skaters on the lake. (Maccagnone 2008:16)

I am not particularly taken by the religious sentimentality but can definitely appreciate the magic and miracles of the holidays and the hope For the Love of St. Nick evokes. This is a book I think appeals to all ages and I'm sure my 9 year old son will appreciate it as I now place it on his bookshelf of holiday reading!

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  1. Thanks for the great review of Gary's book. I recently posted a trailer for this book on YouTube. You and your readers can view it at

    Thanks again.


  2. Nice post! And great book review. I'm always looking for good new books to read with my boys. Your blog absolutely gorgeous! I'll be back again soon.

  3. This looks like a good book. I'll have to check it out!