Monday, November 30, 2009

A Christmas Carol Special Edition Book Review

A Christmas Carol Special Edition
Charles Dickens with Stephen Skelton
Standard Publishing
ISBN: 9780784723913
Audience: Everyone - especially nice for groups and home schooling families!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

From the back of the book:

"We heartily recommend this little volume
as an amusing companion, and a wholesome monitor,
to all who would enjoy in truth and in spirit
'A merry Christmas and a happy New Year.'"
--Charles Mackay, Morning Chronicle, December 19, 1843

Since its publication in 1843, the tale of a miserly old man and the ghosts who visit him has been bringing the true spirit of Christmas into hearts and homes. Whether you've read the story a thousand times or have only seen the movie, A Christmas Carol Special Edition will enrich your enjoyment of this holiday favorite with:

* The complete text of the Charles Dickens classic.
* Annotations offering interesting insight into the story's biblical allusions, the author's faith, and compelling Christian themes throughout.
* Discussion questions designed to engage and promote dialogue among readers of all ages on such subjects as regret, repentance, and redemption.
* A list of related resources to enhance your study.

Enjoy A Christmas Carol Special Edition in your home, study group, book group, or Advent celebration and learn how to say with Scrooge:

"I will honour Christmas in my heart,
and try to keep it all the year."

Every year, as a child, I would watch "A Christmas Carol" on television. I was entranced and even a little scared when the ghosts came to visit. As I grew older, I had no interest in reading the book, since I almost knew it by heart. What a terrible mistake I had made. The book is so much better than anything that I've seen on the screen. Dickens tells such a truly amazing story!

The Christmas Carol Special Edition, though, made me thankful that I hadn't read it earlier. On each page, in the side margin, are wonderful notes that tell the reader wonderful tidbits about the time period, about Dickens himself and why he wrote certain things, where they came from, and how somethings were a reflection on Dickens life. Things that would have been passed by and things that didn't make sense, were pointed out and explained, and truly enhanced the story.

Stephen Skelton did a fantastic job with the explanations, however, I wasn't as impressed with the Christian views. It felt like he was really trying to make something out of things that weren't there, to match some Biblical views. One such reference that comes to mind was when the Spirit of Christmas Present was going to take Scrooge with him, Scrooge took hold of his robe to travel. According to Skelton, that action was to heal the spirit of Scrooge and likened it to the woman who touched Jesus' robe and was healed.

After each Stave (chapter), one will find a discussion section. This section is set up to use with a group, child through adult, or even self-study if one would like. This would make a nice addition to study groups, and especially nice for home schooling families.

Overall, this is a beautiful book that should be on everyone's shelf. If you have problems with some of the Christian references, they can easily be excluded. The information about Dickens and the times alone are worth the purchase of this book.

A Christmas Carol Special Edition was supplied by FSB Associates for review. Thank you, Julie, for allowing me to review this book!

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