A great holiday book filled with adventure mystery and suspense

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AMAZON.COM REVIEWS CONSISTENTLY RATE THIS BOOK FIVE STARS

 

READER AND REVIEWER RESPONSES


WHAT LITERARY CRITICS IN THE WORLD TODAY ARE SAYING ABOUT THIS BOOK...

"No Christmas tree will ever look the same again after you have read Randall Bush's piece of Christmas magic. Among the branches of this familiar tree he creates a whole world of good, evil and salvation. Echoes of John Bunyan, C. S. Lewis and the Bible abound, as do humorous side-swipes at the absurdities of our present-day world, but it is the author's own vivid imagination that will keep the young reader turning the page. Randall Bush tells a good story, and I commend it as a way of sharing in the best story of love."

-Paul S. Fiddes, The Principal, Regent's Park College, Oxford

 

"A delightful fantasy tale, that carries the reader along within a world comparable with that of C.S. Lewis's Narnia books. It conveys an unobtrusive spiritual dimension, but will also entrance most especially young readers of between eight and fourteen, and will also be enjoyed by readers of all ages. The book is an ideal gift for children, especially at the Christmas season."

-Dr. Anthony C. Thiselton, Emeritus Professor of Christian Theology, University of Nottingham, England, and Canon Theologian of Leicester Cathedral and of Southwell Minster

 

"A Christmas tale destined to become a classic! Oxford graduate Randall Bush continues in the tradition of Lewis Carroll, J. R. R. Tolkien, and C. S. Lewis in his ability to create a world of imagination."

 

-Harry L. Poe, Program Director, C. S. Lewis Summer Institute, Oxford

 

EDITORIAL REVIEWS...

AWARDED FIVE HEARTS BY HEARTLAND REVIEW

"Chris and Laura's father brings home a Christmas tree ornament said to have the power to give an exciting Christmas dream. Chris and Laura place the ornament on the tree together and get more than they bargained for. They are transported to Arboria, where the wicked Lesnit is spreading greed and hatred throughout the land, and has set his sights on conquering the beloved Tree King, ruler of Arboria. Chris and Laura, protected by the angelic Lady, get first-hand experience with the struggle between good and evil, and come to understand the true meaning of Christmas.

Randall Bush weaves a fascinating tale steeped in Christian metaphor. Both children and adults will find this story not only entertaining, but also meaningful on many different levels! We rated this book five hearts."

 

-Laura Joy Francis, Heartland Review

 

A GREAT GIFT FOR BORED KIDS

"It is a gloomy December day, some of the lights on the Christmas tree have gone out, and Chris and Laura are stuck inside the house. They are bored and argumentative. When their father arrives home with a fresh string of lights, he also brings a special new Christmas ornament. As Chris and Laura argue about who should hang the new ornament, they compromise and set it up together. The instant they touch it, they are swept into a vortex that Chris describes as 'The Twilight Zone' and Laura insists is 'like Oz'. They have been taken to Arboria, or Christmas Tree Land. Here they meet many strange individuals and have several adventures while trying to help save Arboria from the evil Lesnit. Only then can they return home. This is a charming new Christmas story, with several layers for readers of different ages. It is a great read-aloud for 4th grade and above, and includes a delightful "Glossary of Curious Facts" that is both educational and entertaining.

Dr. Bush is a local author who visited with 88 fifth grade students. He is enthusiastic and fun. He discussed his progress as a writer, gave some pointers for those who would like to write (don't ever give up), read parts of the book, and signed copies afterward.

The children thoroughly enjoyed the visit and, after he read the first section, clambered for more! The book definitely kept their attention.

 

-Deborah Jesseman, Librarian/Media Specialist, Jackson, TN, Reviewer for LM Net.

 
 

BEATS CHRISTMAS TELEVISION SPECIALS SAYS CATHOLIC AND CHRISTIAN BOOK REVIEWS

RATED 9/10 (on ten point scale) by Kathryn Lively, Author of Little Flowers and Saints Preserve Us


In this delightful chapter book for middle readers, siblings Chris and Laura are feeling pre-Christmas cabin fever. A yard of snow beckons to them for a day of fun, yet they are told to stay inside lest they catch a cold. The children grumble complacently, desiring adventure, unaware that their father is about to bring it to them in the form of a new Christmas ornament for their tree.

A fanciful tale of Gabriel's Christmas Ornament, where the person who hangs it experiences an incredible holiday dream, intrigues Chris and Laura enough to share the honor. Suddenly both children are transported to the land of Arboria, where the Orna folk dwell in anticipation of Christmas. As Chris and Laura soon discover, however, the Orna vision of the holiday is not as it should be — an atmosphere of greed and ill-will has cast a pallor over the land. "Maids a milking" are actually "milking" people of their money, a sweets shop owner has a devious method of obtaining raw materials for her goods, and a convention of Santas is anything but jolly.

Guided through each "branch" of Arboria by a mysterious, blue-robed woman — known only as "The Lady," with a lovely visage and bearing a crown of twelve stars — Chris and Laura are rewarded for toughing out the hardships of Arboria with a visit to the real Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, who helps them to understand the true spirit of Christmas.

Gabriel's Magic Ornament is an enjoyable tale appropriate for the Advent and Christmas season, a story alive with Biblical allegory that does not talk down to its young readers (a helpful glossary of terms is included to boost a child's understanding of the Biblical references within the story). Blending Biblical and secular history with a style reminiscent of CS Lewis's Narnia tales, author Bush offers an imaginitive alternative to secularized holiday stories and television specials.

Kathryn Lively 12/5/03 is the author of Little Flowers (Highbridge Press, 2001) and Saints Preserve Us (Wings ePress, 2003). She is the editor of The Write Stuff newsletter for Catholic writers and the founder of FrancisIsidore Electronic Press, an e-book publisher specializing in Catholic fiction.

A book you won't tire of reading over and over when your kids ask!

This adventurous allegory mixes Harry Potter, Narnia, and the Christmas works of Charles Dickens into a story that’s colorful enough for kids and insightful enough for adults. The evil Lesnit is overtaking Arboria, the world inside a Christmas Tree that one reaches by placing Gabriel’s Magic Ornament on the tree and instantly shrinking down to the size of the Orna people (ornaments, get it?).

Arboria, like Narnia, is becoming an accursed place to live where bottomless pits crop up everywhere and endless wars are waged of which no one can remember the cause. Our intrepid brother and sister endure much hardship as they try to help the Orna people reach Tree Top and its star once again.

A delightful "Glossary of Curious Facts" is included that helps explain the allegorical elements for readers who haven’t picked them up along the way. This paperback is a worthy addition to your Christmas tradition, one that you won’t tire of reading over and over when your kids ask!

--Heather Hunt-Christianbook.com

CREATIVE, PAGE-TURNING STORY OF TRUE MAGIC

Dr. Bush has created a masterpiece of Christian literature with particular emphasis on the idea of "true magic" and what it should mean to the celebration of the Christmas holiday.

It succeeds in portraying the gospel of Christ without falling into the trap of being "preaching" or merely reciting the Romans Road and hoping for the best. Humor is certainly one of the novel's main draws; many of the characters will remind readers of people they know(or wish they didn't know). However, its purpose is to educate the reader about the tradition of Christmas and to ultimately draw them to the value of love and child-like faith. Did I enjoy it? Hey, not every book can give you a reason to believe in Santa Claus again!

-Adam Winters, Jackson, TN, January 27, 2003

A BOOK THAT MAKES THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS COME ALIVE

My wife and I bought this book for our 10 year old son just prior to Christmas. He absolutely loved it. The characters seem to come alive and often remind you of everyday people. Dr. Bush truly makes the spirit of Christmas come alive in this fasinating fantasy tale that teaches as it tells. The illustrations are great and help your imagination to vividly see the story as you read it. I would recommend this book for all children and any adult who wants a fun read.

-Van Winn, Jackson, TN, February 6, 2003

 

STRESSES CHRISTMAS "LOVE" NOT CHRISTMAS "LOOT"

Gabriel's Magic Ornament was not only an original approach to the true meaning of Christmas, but also a book that can appeal to readers of all ages. Episodic with multilevels of symbolism, the story is meaningful and fast paced.

Bush has given us a new classic that stresses "love," not "loot," as the reason for the season.

 

-Carol Wiener, Houston, TX, January 15, 2003

"A FRESH BOOK WITH A TIMELESS MESSAGE!

An amazingly written children's book with powerful lessons for today's culture.

Chris and his sister Laura are magically transported to the land of Arboria, which is dying due to the evil Lesnit. After arriving at the Star at Tree Top (with the help of the guardian "Lady") they aid to save this almost extinguished world. In this epic work, the siblings meet some unique characters that teach practical, applicable life lessons.

Gabriel's Magic Ornament is destined to be one of the 21st century's most notable books.

Throughout the text, Randall Bush educates the reader with the issues that face youth in culture today. This book is written with profound imagery, yet, simplistic enough to grab the mind and heart. Children, and adults alike, will have their imaginations explode with curiosity as they tour with the characters on their journey. Without a doubt, this book ranks with the likes of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Children from all walks of life have commented on how Gabriel's Magic Ornament has grabbed their attention. You, and your child, will think the same!"

-BW Ministries from Martin, Tennessee USA, January 14, 2003


"IMAGINATIVE," SAYS READING SPECIALIST

As a reading specialist in the public schools, I would rate Randall Bush's book, Gabriel's Magic Ornament, as a classic waiting to be discovered.

Though replete with symbolism, it can be understood by youngsters at the same time that it will intrigue the imaginations of adult readers

I found it a liberating experience to read a children's book author who communicates an interesting story and meaningfully challenges the minds of his readers.

-Susan McMillian, Houston, Texas, January 13, 2003

READER SAYS, "I WILL NEVER LOOK AT A TIN SOLDIER THE SAME AGAIN.

Beautiful, with enough fun that you don't realize how many lessons you are learning about how to make it through the tree of your life without falling into the dark pits."

-Peggy E Smith, Henderson, TN, United States, January 29, 2003
 
   
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