A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens
Edited by Jesse Kornbluth
Illustrated by Paige Peterson

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Jesse Kornbluth and Paige Peterson

Photo by Peter Cary Peterson

Click on this link to visit the official A Christmas Carol website:

A Christmas Carol

One evening, just before Christmas, I started to read   “A Christmas Carol” to my young daughter. “I’m bored,” she cried, after five minutes, so I stopped. I wasn’t mad at her. She was right --- “A Christmas Carol” wasn’t fun to listen to.

The problem was time. Dickens wrote the story in 1843, and viewed from the distance of more than 170 years, his language is dense and over-wrought. And long? 28,000 words long.

Because I really wanted my daughter to hear this story, I sat down and started cutting the text. Nothing important is gone. I added only a few words of my own, just to make some connections. And then Paige Peterson produced 15 beautiful and spooky illustrations.

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This version of “A Christmas Carol” comes in at 13,000 words. As much as possible, it’s pure story. I’m going to read it to my daughter at Christmas, and I bet --- this time --- she’ll like it. It’s my hope that many other kids and their parents will agree.

– Jesse Kornbluth

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"Taking something golden and turning it to gold was never a venture made in literary mines, but in the minds of Jesse Kornbluth and Paige Peterson, voila, something precious there is that comes to the needy reader this time of year. Here it is, A Christmas Carol; slightly recreated, something borrowed, something to be treasured, a classic anew. One beautiful book; brilliantly written and illustrated, sure to create book lovers out of everyone under the tree."

David Marks

"My 5 year old son and I thoroughly enjoyed it! A jazz smooth rendition of an otherwise classic but verbose Christmas masterpiece.

This is a great abridged version. I attempted to read the original story last Christmas and just couldn't get through it. This version is a quick read that immediately immerses you in Dickens' world and I am sure to read it again next Christmas."

Stephanie Snyder

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"I am a 7th grade teacher of students who struggle with comprehension, yet it is in the curriculum to read A Christmas Carol. For several years now I have struggled with the story and worked hard to help them understand all the vocabulary and symbolism. When I saw this version, I thought for the price it would be worth checking out. I can honestly say that I am so pleased with this version. The abridged version still allows for many powerful discussions, and many vocabulary words for the students to explore. I decided I would read it aloud since I can't afford a copy for each of my students. We gather around on the carpet and I read. They have shown such interest, I have never had that happen in previous years. I think it is wonderful that my less than perfect readers will be able to understand the valuable theme in the story, and when they go on the field trip to see the play, they will finally be able to understand what is happening on stage! Thank you Mr. Kornbluth for this wonderful, readable version of a loved Christmas classic!!!"

Suzanne Strelko

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all images © Paige Peterson