Pub Writes

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Wishin’ and Hopin’: A Christmas Story by Wally Lamb

Posted by Caitie F on December 26, 2009

First of all – I hope everyone had a great Christmas and that everyone has a nice weekend!

Title: Wishin’ and Hopin’: A Christmas Story

Author: Wally Lamb

Hardback: 268 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 978-0-06-194100-9

Rating: +++

Summary (from inside flap):

It’s 1964 and ten-year-old Felix is sure of a few things: the birds and the bees are puzzling, television is magical, and this is one Christmas he’ll never forget. LBJ and Lady Bird are in the White House, Meet the Beatles is on everyone’s turntable, and Felix Funicello (distant cousin of the iconic Annette!) is doing his best to navigate fifth grade—easier said than done when scary movies still give you nightmares and you bear a striking resemblance to a certain adorable cartoon boy.

Back in his beloved fictional town of Three Rivers, Connecticut, with a new cast of endearing characters, Wally Lamb takes his readers straight into the halls of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School—where Mother Filomina’s word is law and goody-two-shoes Rosalie Twerski is sure to be minding everyone’s business. But grammar and arithmetic move to the back burner this holiday season with the sudden arrivals of substitute teacher Madame Frechette, straight from QuÉbec, and feisty Russian student Zhenya Kabakova. While Felix learns the meaning of French kissing, cultural misunderstanding, and tableaux vivants, Wishin’ and Hopin’ barrels toward one outrageous Christmas.

From the Funicello family’s bus-station lunch counter to the elementary school playground (with an uproarious stop at the Pillsbury Bake-Off), Wishin’ and Hopin’ is a vivid slice of 1960s life, a wise and witty holiday tale that celebrates where we’ve been—and how far we’ve come.

Why I read it:

Every Christmas Eve I get a book from “book Santa” and this year it was this. I loved She’s Come Undone and love Lamb’s writing style, so I was VERY excited!


This book is really cute! The characters are fun – from the brown-nosing brat to the possibly Communist new girl, everyone has a personality and a quirk. I was laughing out loud and getting looks from my family, but it was that funny. Lamb is a great storyteller – the characters really came to life in my mind and I felt like a fly on the wall in the classroom and could not wait to see what would happen next.

Try to get this book soon!


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