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A MIDNIGHT CLEAR by Katherine Paterson Kirkus Star


Twelve Family Stories for the Christmas Season

by Katherine Paterson

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-525-67529-9
Publisher: Dutton

Paterson (Flip-Flop Girl, 1994, etc.) wrote these stories over the years for her husband, a pastor, to read to his congregation each Christmas Eve. The collection is somewhat uneven, with protagonists both teenaged and adult, but fans won't give a hoot because every story is warm and fuzzy, fitting right in with the holiday quest for peace, love, and joy. Two stories stand out: "No Room in the Inn" finds a young man taking care of his family's country inn on a stormy Vermont Christmas Eve until a scruffy stranger knocks on the door seeking shelter; the other gem is "In the Desert, a Highway," which takes place in Communist China during the brutal reign of the Red Guards as female scholar Comrade Wong and an old night watchman are arrested for having hidden "subversive" literature in their mattresses. In labor camp to be rehabilitated, the two of them find true friendship, and Comrade Wong brings joy to the old man on the last Christmas Eve of his life. Expect high demand for this collection as the holidays approach. (Short stories. 10+)