ISBN 0590435558 - I'm a very picky reader, so it bothered me to find a scarf described on page 35 as "the stiff, dark green scarf" and then, on page 61 as "soft and warm". Stiff AND soft? But THAT would be my only complaint, and I wouldn't take away a star for it!
Meg's class loves their teacher, Mrs Jackson, so they're sad to see her take maternity leave just as Christmas is approaching. They're extra sad when they get Miss McConnell as her replacement! Meg, Gaelen and Raymond have signed up for a contest at the mall and Mrs Jackson has been their sponsor through it all. Miss McConnell, though, is tough on the entire class and doesn't seem to have any Christmas spirit at all. When the three friends offend her and she decides to withdraw them from the mall competition, they're all upset. Meg was counting on the prize money to be able to buy some Christmas cheer for her family because her father was injured and isn't working and her mother's just working too much! Will Christmas be ruined by Miss McConnell? And can you really buy Christmas cheer, anyway?
This is the second book I've read recently where there's a black character that I didn't know was black, based on the text. I'm not sure if that's good or bad - Raymond's race doesn't really matter, and it's nice that it never comes up between them, but it caught me off guard when, near the end, a nurse asks if the kids are related to Mrs Jackson and Raymond jokes "Not directly." The joke went over my head until I checked the front cover! Overall, nice lesson about judging people without beating the lesson to death - and a nice message about the real meaning of Christmas, too!
meg stafford loves christmas--until mean miss mcConnell comes to teach her 5th grade class. suddenly megs always in trouble and shes not the only one why doesnt miss mcconnell like them