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Christmas Holidays at Merryvale

Alice Hale Burnett

Book Overview: 

“Toad” Brown, his brother, and their friends have a jolly time at the Christmas holidays. They daydream at a toyshop window, chop down a Christmas tree in the woods, have a grand snowball fight, and plan a surprise for a friend in this tale of early 20th-century small-town life.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Toad, "but look at that engine and train. It goes[11] right through the tunnel and up over the bridge. I wonder how fast it can run."

"That's a dandy mitt there," said the other, pointing to a baseball outfit. "I wouldn't be afraid to stop any kind of a ball with that on."

"Wish my dad would get me a new sled like that flyer," sighed Toad. "I finished mine last winter when I ran into that tree with you and Herbie on board."

"You surely did," was the laughing answer. "I remember how we all went flying head first into a snow drift."

"There's a nice pocket knife," was Toad's next remark. "I mean the one with the pearl handle, just next to that doll with the pink dress on."

"Oh!" exclaimed Reddy, "here's what[12] just suits me," catching sight, for the first time, of a punching bag.

"How do you work it?"

"Why, you see there's an elastic rope on each end of it, and one of them you tie to a ring in the fl. . . Read More

Community Reviews

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The sweetest Christmas read.

Rather alright story about young boys learning to think of others, and being rewarded for it. Also, absolute propaganda for sledding and snowball fights and other red-blooded American boy snow activities.

It feels weird to read this book in the middle of the day under the hot sun :) The book is great, though. Simple but interesting for children.

"Cute" is the word to describe the Merryvale stories. They're pure kiddie fluff, but Christmas is a nostalgic time, and a look at what a rustic children's Christmas would have been at the turn of the century brings a new flavor to the hoary old songs we sing. To go through the motions of singing...more

A boys' book for elementary grades. Read for the series challenge in the Vintage Gems group....

A fun little story, suitable for young boys, and an easy read. 1st-4th grade, I'd guess. Nothing spectacular, but it was heartwarming to read about their helping another boy's family. Interesting, to no...more

Cute, moral children's story about giving to others less fortunate and family, friend time. Would be a great one for a reading circle or a younger family evening read as it only has 9 chapters.

A short sweet book for young readers under 10, featuring a group of boys from the early 1900's enjoying a snowy Christmas. I think it would be a very accessible read as it is simply written, and features charming characters who are much the same as the boys of today. There's not much action, but...more

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