Catching Santa (The Kringle Chronicles, Book 1)
Pants on Fire Press (2010)
Reviewed by Evan Weldon (age 8) for Reader Views (09/10)
“Catching Santa” by Marc Franco is about eleven-year-old Jakob who is constantly doodling in class. On the last day of school before Christmas vacation, Jakob’s index finger started twitching and he drew a picture of commandos wearing specials suits and laser blasters (an image that will become all too real!). Just as he was coming out of his daydream, Rick, the kid sitting next to him, yanked the papers away from him. Examining the drawing, Rick said, under his breath, “Santa Stuff!” Pretty quick a bunch of kids began to tease Jakob and say that Santa didn’t exist. They are about to find out just how wrong they are!
After getting home from school that day, Jakob received an email from a guy named S.R.. He didn’t pay much attention to the note until Rick’s sister Tiff came over babbling about a curse that if you didn’t believe in Santa you would never get presents ever, ever again. Later, he got another message from S.R. saying that a good way to make the unbeliever believe is to catch Santa and present him to the unbeliever. Who is this mysterious correspondent S.R.? Does he want to help the kids find Santa or does he have his own dark purposes?
When Rick disappears everyone thinks he is up to one of his usual nasty tricks. But when days pass and Rick still doesn’t appear, the other kids realize that something bad is going on. They realize that this isn’t just another of his dirty tricks. A few days later all the kids are playing at Jakob’s house when Jakob gets a mysterious phone call and hears Rick’s voice calling for help followed by a menacing zap. Who was the mysterious caller? Where is Rick? Can they save him or will they all turn into lumps of coal?
I would recommend this book to everyone. It has something for everyone. This book is funny and has tons of action: a smoke monster jumps out of the phone, angry dragons attack and ice skulls shoot deadly sharp icicles. “Catching Santa” was a great book and I can’t wait for the next book to come out.
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