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A Midnight Clear: Stories for the Christmas Season

by Katherine Paterson

Published by Lodestar, 1995
212 pages
ISBN: 0-525-67529-9

Ages 12-16

Twelve contemporary stories develop widely varied Christmas Eve themes such as a necessary pilgrimage, a desperate need for shelter, or the gift of unconditional love. A girl fulfilling a service requirement by visiting in a nursing home simultaneously experiences unyielding prejudices against both old and new. A family flees injustice by making a perilous border crossing just before their baby is born. After giving coins for a disaster elsewhere in the world, a young man who is house-sitting finds the courage to directly assist a homeless family at the door. As shown in her popular and award-winning novels for children and young adults, Paterson's gifts as a writer are apparent in vivid characterizations, credible dialogue and astute observations about everyday possibilities for transcendence. A welcome companion to her Angels and Other Strangers (HarperCollins, 1979), a similar collection of short fiction. CCBC categories: SEASONS AND CELEBRATIONS; FICTION FOR TEENAGERS; ISSUES IN TODAY'S WORLD.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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