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    Inspirational Story

    A Christmas Promise is a quick easy-read novella that is the "sweet" edition of Sleigh of Hope by Wendy Lindstrom. It's primary focus is on Adam, the adopted son of Duke Grayson. Adam is a sweet boy who has settled in with his new family as Duke's son. He struggles with jealousy and fear of losing the hold on his family when new orphans come to town. I enjoyed seeing the struggles that Adam faces with jealousy and guilt - afraid to lose his family but feeling terrible for not wanting the new kids to live with him. The feelings Adam experiences are real feelings of losing a person's place in their family and with their parents - trying to forge their unique identity in their world. It is really refreshing to watch as he struggles to figure out how to do the right thing while trying not to lose what's important to him. This story also shows how a small town can come together to support their own - from rebuilding a home that burnt down, to delivering wood to families who couldn't heat their houses, and to providing food for those who were hungry. Adam sees the needs in his neighbors, and feeling guilty that he didn't help Leo in the best way possible, turns that into an opportunity to help many people. Adam draws on his experiences of being hungry and and his feelings of being alone to determine how to help his neighbors in Fredonia, and ultimately uses that experience to draw Leo into a closer relationship. I love that Adam is already in love with Rebecca and has decided that he'll marry her. That confidence in his feelings and his future isn't often seen in modern day men and is a refreshing look at how love can be so simple when the complications of life and adulthood can be removed. That said, the author has created children who are as wonderfully-complex, caring, and loving as the adults that support and love them. If children today had even a small amount of the fortitude, honor, and drive that Adam, Rebecca, Leo, and the rest of Fredonia have, our world would be a much better place.
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