Real Santa by William Hazelgrove
George Kronenfeldt is an unemployed engineer with one shot to keep his daughters belief in Santa intact. When Megan tells him the only way she will believe in Santa is if she can videotape him and then tells her fourth grade class she will prove the existence of Santa Claus by posting her video to YouTube, George realizes he must become the Real Santa. He devises a plan to land nine reindeer on his roof and go down his chimmney, hiring a broken down movie director who eventually has him funding a full scale production that bankrupts him and and threatens his marriage. When George goes to find the Real Santa to help him, the line between what is real and magic is crossed. Real Santa is a funny heartwarming story of parenthood gone wrong and illuminates what lengths parents will go to keep their children happy.
I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.
When I started Real Santa I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. George lost his job, the fourth in 2 years, which gave me the impression that he was a loser. I soon learned, though, that he may not be the best engineer but he definitely was trying to be a good dad.
George’s daughter, Megan, is 9 years old and is starting to question the existence of Santa. He feels like he wasn’t a good father to his older kids because he looked at Santa through scientific eyes when his son, Jeremy, asked about Santa (not pretty) and Jaimie found out when she was 8 years old from her mom’s boyfriend.
The extreme that George is willing to go to to show show Megan that Santa is real is pretty over the top. He uses up all of their money and risks his marriage but he believes that it’s worth keeping the magic in Megan’s life a little longer.
William Hazelgrove’s writing flows well, is easy to follow, and he has a good sense of humor. His characters are believable…they all have their good and bad characteristics just like “real” people.
Most of Real Santa was just okay but I really enjoyed the last quarter of the book. If you’re looking for a different kind of Christmas story, this is it.
Warning: there is some mild language.
About the Author
William Elliott Hazelgrove is the best-selling author of eight novels, Ripples, Tobacco Sticks, Mica Highways, Rocket Man, The Pitcher, Real Santa and the forthcoming Jackpine and The Pitcher 2. His books have received starred reviews in Publisher Weekly,Kirkus and have been selected as Book of the Month Selections, Junior Library Guild Selections, ALA Editors Choice Awards and optioned for the movies. He was the Ernest Hemingway Writer in Residence where he wrote in the attic of Ernest Hemingway’s birthplace. He has written articles and reviews for USA Today and other publications. He has been the subject of interviews in NPR’s All Things Considered along with features in The New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Richmond Times Dispatch, USA Today, People, Channel 11, NBC, WBEZ, WGN. His most recent novel, The Pitcher is a Junior Library Guild Selection and was chosen Book of the Year by Books and Authors. net. His next book Jackpine will be out Spring 2014 with Koehler Books. A follow up novel Real Santa will be out fall of 2014.
He runs a political cultural blog, The View From Hemingway’s Attic.
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