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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Santa is real. Carol knows that. She’s one of several girls living in Lady Dorothy’s Group Home. And, like any other group home full of girls, there is a mix of nice girls and mean girls. Carol is a nice girl, with a touch of magic that she only uses when necessary; Irene is a mean girl, a real bully. Carol’s magic is a gift from Santa, who visits her on occasion. When Santa asks Carol to recommend someone else to receive the magic spell, Carol thinks of her best friend, Mandy. Only, when Santa comes to cast the spell, he’s in a hurry and something goes terribly wrong. Irene, the mean girl, receives the magic charm instead. That’s when things go decidedly wrong at Lady Dorothy’s Group Home. With only days before Christmas, Carol knows she has to find a way to make things right. But how?
Lynn B. McGovern’s middle-grade novel, Christmas Carol, isn’t quite what you think the title suggests. Yes, it has the same makings as Dickens’ original: the mean-spirited person needing a good dose of kindness to set their path in the direction of being good. But the title is more than just a title and, for that, you’ll have to read the book to find out more. The plot develops well, with the rising tension between the girls at the group home. All the characters are well presented and their adventures are typical of girls living together at this age. There are fun and mischief, but also mean pranks and bullying. And, best of all, there are solid, caring friendships. This is a feel-good type of story that young readers will certainly enjoy.