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Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 10/2020
  • 9780578770543 B08MSXL6C7
  • 228 pages
  • $11.99
The Boy Who Cried Christmas
9-year-old Logan Ailshie, the only son of well-to-do parents, was used to getting his way, especially during the holidays. For him, Christmas wasn’t just about making a list, but making sure it was long enough. He also had a reputation for embellishing the truth. That is until a chance meeting with an angel on the streets of Manhattan ends with a journey back in time to the birthplace of Christianity. Eventually, he makes his way home with a story that could change all their lives. He only has one problem . . . no one will believe him.
Reviews
With an eye toward both faith and family, Bailey’s (Army of God) sophomore novel is a beautiful reminder of the true meaning of the Christmas holiday. Nine-year-old Logan Ailshie is a typical, if slightly spoiled, boy excited for presents under the tree. Yet a chance meeting with a homeless veteran changes Logan’s life. Just after this meeting, Logan disappears, transported back in time to witness the greatest event in Christian history at the side of the shepherds sent to the manger. FBI Agent Marcus Garraway is assigned Logan’s case and the unexplained mystery is just enough to pull him from his suicidal thoughts.

Viewed through the eyes of a child, the Christmas story takes on new meaning as the author brings the tale to life with a contemporary twist. In a season known for miracles, Logan’s journey is filled with wonder sometimes missing from modern retellings of Bible stories. Readers will be drawn in as he matures from materialism to understanding the importance of Jesus’s birth, especially with the descriptions of Logan’s time in Israel. Similarly, Marcus’s burden of grief over his wife’s death several years before is nuanced; the pain is palpable.

Where the novel struggles slightly is with a subplot shrouded in stereotypes. Bailey introduces Wendell, a mentally ill young atheist man who’s fallen through the cracks in the system. He hates Christianity fanatically, for unexplained reasons. Passionate in his hatred, he turns to terrorism. Whereas Logan and Marcus’s stories are handled with subtlety, albeit a bit fantastically, the portrayal of Wendell is much less compassionate, treating him as little more than a caricature to be reviled. Some readers will consider this connecting of atheist viewpoints and terrorism alienating, or find that it detracts from the story’s messages of grace and hope. Likewise, the conclusion of the story feels rushed and less polished than what comes before. Logan’s penultimate decision may leave readers confused, if not disquieted. But the book’s beautiful main plot will please fans of the traditional Christmas story.

Takeaway: Fans of the traditional Christmas story will find peace and joy in this beautiful, if slightly uneven, fantastical tale.

Great for fans of: Lynne Gentry’s The Carthage Chronicles, R.S. Ingermanson’s City of God series, Don Furr’s Quest for the Nail Prints.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: B
Marketing copy: B

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 10/2020
  • 9780578770543 B08MSXL6C7
  • 228 pages
  • $11.99

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