Book Reviews by NBPL Teens

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Review by Sarina

Post Date:05/12/2023

christmas carol book cov

A Christmas Carol is not just a common plot for Christmas movies and a reminder of the holiday season, but a story with a very important message. Written by Charles Dickens in a time of writer’s block, it tells the story of a selfish, greedy man named Ebenezer Scrooge. One night, he goes on a magical quest of learning about himself and his life, just in time for Christmas! It is a short and simple read that, for me, could be read at any time of the year.
It starts off in the present day when an old man named Ebenezer Scrooge works at his office. It is Christmas Eve, and his employee Bob Cratchit asks if he is allowed to not go to work the next day--it is Christmas! (The office itself is a very bad place to work; since Scrooge has a strong desire to save his money, he does not have any form of substantial heat in the building. His money-saving ways are so strong that he does not even pay Crachit or his other employees fairly.) Scrooge allows him to come to work late, but he still has to come the next day.
That night, Scrooge goes home after work and is shaken by the fact that, upon his arrival, his doorknob resembled the face of his deceased boss and owner of his house, Marley. Marley returns later as Scrooge begins to sleep in his ghostly for, wrapped up in chains and money safes. He warns Scrooge to change his ways before he ends up like him. He later adds that Scrooge will be visited by three ghosts soon.
The first ghost, one whose face looks like that of a child, arrives and takes Scrooge to his childhood; this is the Ghost of Christmas Past. Scrooge relieves the moments of his youth: studying at school at a very young age, attending holiday parties hosted by his first boss, Fezziwig, and meeting his fiancee, Belle. Scrooge’s heart breaks as he sees himself tell Belle later how he put off their wedding (again) because he wanted to save money. Belle, furious, leaves him. This causes Scrooge to get rid of the ghost and return home.
Shortly after this, Scrooge is visited by a jolly,  festive spirit: the Ghost of  Christmas Present. This time, Scrooge sees the Christmas party his nephew invited him to (Scrooge, of course, declined the invitation.) There, his nephew and his friends take part in party games, one of which was “Yes or No.” (Similar to 20 Questions, one person has to think of a person, place, or thing. The other players have to ask a series of questions with a yes or no response until they guess correctly.) The answer to one of the questions, which was “the worst creature in town,” was none other than Scrooge. Scrooge is then taken to Bob Crachit’s house, where he gets a deeper look into his life. Not only does Bob have a large family to feed, but his youngest son is also severely malnourished and in critical condition; his name is Tiny Tim. Seeing this sparks some sympathy in Scrooge.
Finally, Scrooge is visited by a ghost that does not speak and is very mysterious: the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. He sees a group of townspeople stealing valuable items from a dead person’s house. Others are dead as well, including Tiny Tim.  Scrooge is heartbroken as he sees the remaining Crachits spend their first Christmas without Tiny Tim. The last place Scrooge is taken is a graveyard, where he learns the dead person from before was none other than himself. This causes Scrooge to realize his wrongdoings.
It is now Christmas when Scrooge returns back to his house, feeling enlightened by his experience. He decides to pay a child to buy him the “prize turkey” so he can bring it to the Crachits as a Christmas present. Everyone is happy, but Scrooge was the happiest of all since he realized he could be a better person. Tiny Tim is also still alive.
I love the holiday season, so this story automatically got a 5/10. I appreciated the fact that it was very short, too (I might have lost interest if it was longer, honestly). The words were also easy to understand, adding to its simplicity. I generally am not a fan of fantasy stories involving ghosts, and went into the novel not knowing the story would focus on this. I would rate A Christmas Carol a 7/10!

Check out A Christmas Carol from NBPL. 



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