THE CHRISTMAS CUP by Nancy Ruth Patterson


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In her first book for young readers, Patterson tells an unusual story with well-individualized characters. It's summer, and Megan makes a tidy $5 selling lemonade at a local auction, then impulsively (and inexplicably, even to herself) spends it all on an old milkshake cup that no one else is willing to bid on. Her wise grandmother, ""Nannie,"" helps her turn this mishap into a memorable project: they will secretly save odd bits of change in the cup until Thanksgiving, when they will choose--from a list they make of people who are especially good to them--the one who ""had meant the most to their lives, and they'd buy that person a special [anonymous] Christmas gift."" The list grows long as the cup fills, but Megan finds it easy to choose stern Miss Finney, the principal who helped her understand (without telling Megan's family) that the Mennonite farmer she was teasing was a real person; secretly, Megan takes Miss Finney a gift-wrapped pink angora sweater. Nanny, who does not know what Miss Finney's good deed was, tactfully allows Megan to keep the secret to herself. Perceptive and well-told: a quiet, old-fashioned story, full of family affection, that effectively demonstrates the special joy of giving.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1989
ISBN: 0595190758
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Orchard/Watts