But, mom and dad have other plans. After Lily and her two brothers give their “wish lists” to their parents, a family meeting is called. The siblings are told that not only will they not be getting any store-bought gifts for Christmas this year, they will be going to a remote cabin in North Carolina where they will spend the rest of the Christmas holiday. If that weren’t bad enough, there are more conditions and limits: The cabin will be decorated only with things that can be found in the surrounding woods; all gifts must be hand-made; and the kids can take only three things with them – a food treat; a game; and a book – with the idea of sharing the items at the cabin.
Needless to say, the kids are not thrilled, Lily especially. She has already begun dreaming of her upcoming camping adventure and was counting on her parents to provide her with the necessary gear (or at least money or a gift certificate so she could buy it herself) as her Christmas gifts. So, out of spite, she takes a food treat that only she likes, a game that she knows her brothers hate to play (but she figures they’ll play the game with her out of boredom) and a book about camping.
Before the family makes it to their remote cabin, though, they are stranded in a high school gym during an unexpected snow storm. A remote cabin in the woods sounded bad enough, but this is even worse. But, Lily and her family survive the ordeal and come out stronger than before.
What I Like: This is a great story for preteens, both girls and boys (although the story is intended for girls) about thinking about others.
What I Dislike: I was a bit uncomfortable with the way the parents went about telling the kids they were going to be away from home for Christmas and they were not going to fulfill their kids’ wish lists. I support what they did, I just didn’t like they way they went about presenting it. Really, if you’re going to be taking three kids for an extended stay in a remote setting during the Christmas holiday, the least you should do is give them fair warning, not wait until the night before the trip to even tell them about it.
Overall Rating: Very good.
Age Appeal: 9-12.
Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2002; ISBN: 9780310702603; Paperback, $6.99.
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Special Info: This is book #9 in the Zonderkidz Lily series. Read our reviews of other books in the series. Visit the author’s website.