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For the Love of St. Nick by Garasamo…

For the Love of St. Nick (edition 2009)

by Garasamo Maccagnone, Al Ochsner (Contributor)

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127768,668 (3.05)1
Title:For the Love of St. Nick
Authors:Garasamo Maccagnone
Other authors:Al Ochsner (Contributor)
Info:BookSurge Publishing (2009), Paperback, 62 pages
Collections:Your library

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For the Love of St. Nick by For Garasamo Maccagnone



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Two siblings pray to St. Nick for their father’s safe path home. The youngest boy tend to become ill so often that the family fears for him.

Most people know St. Nick as a big jolly fellow who brings present on Christmas but the real St. Nick was much more than a toy giver. St. Nick was known to be the Saint of children. Helping small children that prayed to him.

The book was not what I expected I feel like some of the story in the beginning was just filler. I wish I could say that I had a heartwarming experience but I did not. I did not have enough time to feel for these children as the book is only 44 pages. I felt like a book with St.Nick in the title should have described more of why they pray for St. Nick especially since everything else was seeming fully depicted. ( )
  lavenderagate | Nov 23, 2012 |
The first thing that struck me about this book even before I opened it up was the beautiful cover illustration, St. Nick carrying his sack looking out at me through the tree branches. This book appeals to me because of the way it reaches back to the beginnings of Christmas and the heart of what the season is truly about.

When his wife dies giving birth to his second son, 'The Commander' moves his family out of California to Michigan and a little hunting cabin on the edge of Lake Huron. Though the younger boy is in a seemingly constant battle with fevers due to his traumatic birth, the boys grow up pleasantly enough playing hockey and riding on snowmobiles while their Father works on his secret mission at the nearby military base. When the time finally comes for their Father to preform his mission, the boys are left with their nanny for the weeks leading up to Christmas. And when a fast fever sends the youngest brother into convulsions a visit from a Saint on Christmas Eve just before their Father's return home makes it a Holiday to remember.
For The Love of St. Nick is deep and does not take children for granted, I love that. The worst possible thing for a childrens' book to do is underestimate it's audience. Garasamo Massagnone grabs you from the beginning with the untimely death of the boys' Mother and holds you with honest, touching story telling to the very end. The only negative comment (if it can be called that) I have is that there isn't enough of this book. At 61 pages long with illustrations, I wanted more, though looking at it from a child's point-of-view it might be just right. My son is still a little young for this book but I look forward to sharing it with him in the future. It is refreshing to find a young person's book about the holidays that doesn't center around Santa Claus and presents. This book takes tough life events and intertwines them wonderfully with the Holiday season, incorporating just enough family, faith and tradition to remind us what the Holiday season is truly about. ( )
  momsnotall | Nov 18, 2009 |
a tender, simple novella that should become one of those books we bring out every holiday season. But then the quality of the story should not be saved only for the spirit of Christmas it conveys: this is a story that rings of familial love and commitment and deserves to be read as a reminder of what is important - our sense of belonging to family, both birth and extended forms.

The story of FOR THE LOVE OF ST. NICK is narrated by Tiger, the older of two sons in a single father family: the mother died during childbirth of the younger son Johnny leaving the US Navy Commander father to raise his two boys with the help of the maternal grandmother. Life is complicated by the fact that Johnny is delicate - not of mind but of body - and much of Johnny's life is spent recovering from his physical maladies. Tiger and Johnny are devoted brothers and all goes well in their California home until the Commander is reassigned to Michigan. Adjusting to the change in climate and the other changes in environment affect the boys but they are resilient and soon find the varying seasons of Northern Michigan reasons for exploring new ventures. The Commander receives orders to participate in a secret mission shortly before Christmas and the boys are left in the care of their housekeeper. Johnny undergoes a near tragedy forcing Tiger to abruptly become a man, turning to prayers to his favorite saint, St. Nicholas, who makes a 'visit' and alters the consequences in a way that leaves the little family (and the reader) caught up in the giving spirit of the Christmas season.

The pleasures of Maccagnone's writing are many, but not the least of them is the quiet simplicity of the language he uses to relate his story. This may be told as a memory (in retrospect) by the adult Tiger, but the essence of the tale is centered in a child's vision - full of wonder, devotion, and love. ( )
  VickiMac | Dec 6, 2008 |
This is a cute little story with roots in both Catholicism and Christmas. Its a short 45 pages so you can read it in one sitting if you like. I enjoyed the story, but found it very predictable and the Catholicism to be a bit too overemphasized. ( )
  legendaryneo | Dec 2, 2008 |
In a nutshell: A very short, very touching story about a family who has faced many challenges in a few short years, loss, illness, relocation to a new state, and a Navy father who must occasionally leave his family to complete risky missions with his team. Instead of destroying faith, these challenges serve as a quiet source that affirms faith and strengthens the family. The events on page 41 brought tears to my eyes and made my heart soar! This is a great (and short) holiday read with a touch of Catholic influence and a whole lot of faith!

From Amazon:
Two boys who have lost their mother tragically, worry they'll never see their father,a Naval Commander, after he embarks on a secret mission with the United States military. After the boys are advised by their nanny to seek the help of St. Nick, the boys are shocked by an early Christmas visit.

First Paragraph:
Mother died during the birth of my little brother Johnny. I was three years old at the time and don't remember much except that my grandmother, Nana Beth, who was babysitting me at the time, dropped the phone and her head when my father called from the hospital and broke the news. When Nana sunk to her knees and started crying hysterically. I was so scared; I ran and hid inside my parent's closet, clinging in the darkness to my mother's favorite dress, rubbing my cheek over and over against the soft fabric until Nana Beth was able to find me.

My Review:
This holiday story is narrated by Tiger, Johnny's older brother by three years. Tiger and his father, known as "The Commander" to most, lose their mother/wife at the same time that they gain their brother/son Johnny due to complications during Johnny's birth. These same complications cause Johnny to fight illness throughout his life.

The family is relocated because of the Commander's job in the Navy, and he hires a nanny to help with the boys. During a secret mission for his country, Johnny becomes terribly ill and Tiger is the only person on hand to tend to him. Just when it seems there is no hope, a miracle happens!

Characters: Although we never meet "Mom", Tiger and Johnny are both boys growing up under the guidance of their father and nanny, Mrs. Pennington. Even though the story is short, it is easy to quickly become attached to the characters, and to experience the wonder they feel during the holiday season.

Story-Line: A gentle story filled with family and faith. The book gives the reader the ability to glimpse the joys of childhood, along with its challenges.

Readability: I found the book easy to read and enjoyable, with touches every reader can enjoy and appreciate.

Overall: This is a nice holiday story with a truly touching ending. ( )
  wbarker | Nov 25, 2008 |
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