Parents' Guide to

Mama Had to Work on Christmas

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Gently opens children's eyes to class differences.

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What could have been a soppy, melodramatic, didactic diatribe is instead, in Carolyn Marsden's simple, matter-of-fact telling, clear, poignant, and involving. It gently opens children's eyes to the idea of class differences, demonizes no one (even the girl who offers Gloria her doll is friendly and means well), and offers no simplistic solutions.

Instead it reminds Gloria, and readers, of what she already has, but for a while was too angry to see -- the love of family. By the end of the book the contrast of the grand and gorgeous hotel with Gloria's Christmas night in a shack with her mother and grandmother seems to favor the warmth of the shack, lit by candles and filled with the smell of her grandmother's cooking. This age-appropriate introduction to a difficult subject still manages to be a warm holiday story.

Book Details

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