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Description - The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder

Fifty years ago a girl disappeared from her home in Norway. She ran after a lamb and found herself travelling right across Europe to Palestine, and back through 2000 years to meet the Holy Family in Bethlehem. There she met angels, shepherds, wise men and other biblical characters who joined her on her pilgrimage; and she heard of many of the things that happened in the world in the last 2000 years. In present-day Norway, a boy acquires a strange old Advent calendar. Hidden in each of the windows is a tiny piece of paper. Little by little these pieces unfold the girl's story and as we learn what happened to her, another story is revealed - that of the strange old man who made the calender.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780753808665
ISBN-10: 0753808668
Format: Paperback
(199mm x 135mm x 19mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Publish Date: 7-Oct-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder

UK Kirkus Review » Gaarder tells the most famous story in the world freshly, every chapter containing his characteristic twists and turns. Like Sophie's World it's a children's book that can be read by adults, and it could even be read together through the advent period, day by day. The story is told from the perspective of Joachim, who becomes intrigued when his magic advent calendar reveals the story of a little girl who went missing in 1948. A different chapter of her story is contained behind each of the doors. His family become involved and Bethlehem is the final destination. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Intelligent Nativity story by Norwegian philosopher/novelist Gaarder (The Solitaire Mystery, p. 621, etc.), full of heart and warmth. As ever, Gaarder offers a didactic subtext. Joachim's father buys him a homemade, 40-year-old Advent calendar from a dusty bookstore. The calendar has a door to open for each December day leading up to Christ's birth. Behind each door lies a picture. But when Joachim first opens the calendar, a small slip of paper falls out containing a substory that goes on day by day as each door is opened and a fresh sheet appears. The substory tells of little Elisabet, who runs off in pursuit of a lamb only to find herself on a pilgrimage to Bethlehem. Each day's episode adds a new pilgrim to her group, until there are wisemen, angels, shepherds, and sheep; two millennia of history unfold backward. In yet another story, a girl named Elisabet, who was kidnapped 40 years ago, turns up as a middle-aged woman on Christmas Eve, mingling the celebration of Christ's birth with a contemporary event. For adult children. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Jostein Gaarder

Jostein Gaarder was born in Oslo in 1952. Sophie's World, the first of his books to be published in English, has been translated into 60 languages and has sold over 40 million copies. He is the author of many other bestselling, beloved novels and children's books, including The Orange Girl, The Christmas Mystery and The Ringmaster's Daughter. He lives in Oslo with his family.

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