Saturday, December 26, 2009
Wishin' and Hopin'
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.
This was a good book definitely in the vein of A Christmas Story and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. A nostalgic book about the good ole days, I liked it. I'm particular to this types of books in general and thought this one was cute. Felix is a very innocent 10 year old boy so there are some parts with dirty jokes and Felix doesn't understand them leading to a very hilarious incident. But he is a sweet and kind boy. The book starts with his teacher at his Catholic school having a mental breakdown through getting a new French substitute teacher and up to the Christmas pageant and a very special guest at the end. Along the way there are some nice glimpses at life in the 60's. I think I'm going to add this one to my Christmas annual re-reads.