If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that teaching and education has played a massive part of my life for the last 4 years. I have taught English in two countries abroad and I am now a qualified primary school teacher, with a ‘specialism’ in English. One of the targets I’ve set myself within my role as teacher is to ignite a love of reading within my classroom.
I’ve noticed, whilst getting to know my new class over the last term, that reading does not play a positive or important role in the vast majority of my pupils lives. Obviously, reading is something that is of immense importance to me. I built this entire basis of Hollie in Wanderlust around my love of literature and books and I feel like I’d be letting myself down completely if I didn’t try to use this blog to its advantage and as a platform for introducing my English groups to good quality pieces of literature. I’ve spent the last few weeks, in the build up to Christmas, building up a repertoire of Christmas based literature to explore within my classroom. I started off with an absolute cracker: The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski.
This is a book that, somehow, I haven’t come across before. I came across it by pure chance and bought myself a copy at the start of this week, with the hope of introducing it to my class next week, just in time for Christmas. There are honestly no words more appropriate than ‘beautiful’ to describe this book- and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to have read it. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey is the charming tale of Mr Jonathan Toomey, a wood-carver who has suffered loss so great he found himself settling in a brand new place, away from the prying eyes of his past. Unexpectedly, a widowed mother and her son arrive in the valley and knock on Mr Toomey’s door one cold, wintery day. Reluctantly, Jonathan allows them into his home and slowly starts to understand the true meaning of Christmas, with a little help from an unexpected source.
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey is a deeply moving and heart-warming tale, depicting the formation of a relationship of the most unlikely sort. The language used is emotive and clear in its intention, and the entire story is accompanied by the most intricate and beautiful illustrations. It is a tale of helping others, and how helping others can often result in helping yourself. It is a tale of family and togetherness. It is a tale of unexpected friendships and new beginnings. It eludes to different themes and leaves lots to the imagination and many things open to interpretation. I am not ashamed to say that I finished the story with a tear in my eye and a warmth in my stomach that definitely wasn’t there before I started.