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Marta and the Manger Straw: A Christmas…

Marta and the Manger Straw: A Christmas Tradition from Poland

by Virginia Kroll, Robyn Belton (Illustrator)

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I had mixed feelings about this book. I thought the story had a great central message which highlighted the importance of being selfless, and giving even when it feels like you have nothing to give. For example, the main character of the book gives away her straw that is supposed to be good luck to all her friends, even though she knows she is in need of luck based on her struggling circumstances. The book touched on having faith in God, and I do not know if this would be a problem in the classroom. I know religion cannot usually be discussed in the classroom, therefore I do not know if this book would be acceptable. But, I do think that there is a positive underlying theme of the book. It also is a book on traditions. I think it could be a good book to begin discussions on different traditions students practice. ( )
  awalls4 | Apr 24, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Virginia Krollprimary authorall editionscalculated
Belton, RobynIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0310709946, Hardcover)

In World War II Poland, a young girl receives straw at the Christmas Eve service to bring to her impoverished family. But on her way home, Marta meets others who are much poorer than she, and she shares her piece until there is nothing left. In spite of the lack of straw--though perhaps because of her generous heart---Marta finds riches she never expected in this tender tale of Christmas giving. The Traditions of Faith series features stories of how significant Christian traditions emerged from around the world. These traditions continue to be practiced today and encompass many different holidays. Each Traditions of Faith book includes an author's note about the history of the tradition, and ideas and activities to adopt into one's own family celebrations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:00 -0400)

At Christmas, Marta, a Polish girl, unhesitatingly breaks off pieces of her own blessed Nativity straw to share with her ill grandmother and other humble villagers, and in giving them away, her blessings return to her.

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