The Christmas Mystery

The Christmas Mystery

3.7 (4,756 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
By (author)  , Illustrated by 

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As Joachim opens, day by day, the windows in an old Advent calendar, a story emerges about a little girl called Elisabet who, fifty years ago, disappeared from Norway and travelled across Europe and back through time to be present at the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. This beautiful, mysterious story has been a huge success, both for the children it was originally written for, and as an enduring Christmas seller on the adult list. It now appears in a new form designed to appeal to a younger age group. Much shorter than the original, it loses nothing of the plot, and is enhanced by delightful halftone illustrations that dance through the text, showing angels, shepherds, children, kings and all the many characters who join Elisabet on her journey to Bethlehem.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 130 x 197 x 18mm | 240g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0753805200
  • 9780753805206

Review Text

Intelligent Nativity story by Norwegian philosopher/novelist Gaarder (The Solitaire Mystery, p. 621, etc.), full of heart and warmth. As ever, Gaarder offers a didactic subtext. Joachim's father buys him a homemade, 40-year-old Advent calendar from a dusty bookstore. The calendar has a door to open for each December day leading up to Christ's birth. Behind each door lies a picture. But when Joachim first opens the calendar, a small slip of paper falls out containing a substory that goes on day by day as each door is opened and a fresh sheet appears. The substory tells of little Elisabet, who runs off in pursuit of a lamb only to find herself on a pilgrimage to Bethlehem. Each day's episode adds a new pilgrim to her group, until there are wisemen, angels, shepherds, and sheep; two millennia of history unfold backward. In yet another story, a girl named Elisabet, who was kidnapped 40 years ago, turns up as a middle-aged woman on Christmas Eve, mingling the celebration of Christ's birth with a contemporary event. For adult children. (Kirkus Reviews)
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About Jostein Gaarder

Jostein Gaarder is the author of SOPHIE'S WORLD, a huge bestseller in over 40 countries. He was born in Oslo in 1952 and lives there now with his wife and two sons.
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Rating details

4,756 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 25% (1,179)
4 33% (1,579)
3 31% (1,481)
2 9% (427)
1 2% (90)
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