Review: The Christmas Mystery


Title: The Christmas Mystery

Written by: Jostein Gaarder (author of Sophie’s World)

Published by: Orion Children’s Books

Useful for: parents of children aged 7–11 years old

Best bit:

The story is clever and beautiful, mysterious and fascinating, a treat for adults and children alike, with 24 chapters exploring the birth of Jesus, making it perfect for Advent.

This book is one of those books for whom this quote rings true:

“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.” C.S. Lewis

Worst bit:

Best for children age 7+, so if yours are younger, you might want to do as I did and read it as your own Christmas story until they’re old enough 🙂


The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder is a delight-filled book, a brilliant mystery with 24 short chapters and great cliffhangers, perfect material for bedtime.

This beautifully crafted and very clever story follows the story of a young girl on a journey across Europe and back in time (!) accompanied by a growing crowd of people from the original Christmas story.

On the way, she discovers all sorts of things from her companions about geography and history, as well as philosophy and theology – but all in a gentle, child-friendly manner.  A wonderful story which will stand many re-reads over the years.

I read it each year, as it has 24 chapters, each building on the last, revealing a beautiful story of discovering the Christmas story.