Ho-Ho-NOOO is right!
(To begin, let me say that I'm over a decade out of the target audience age range, so that definitely affects my opinion of the book.)
"Ho-Ho-NOOO!" is the fourth book in a "juvenile" series about a modern-day junior-high student, T.J., and her from-the-future pals, Herby and Tuna. This installment takes place during the week leading up to Christmas as T.J. learns some lessons about charity, genuine giving and familial love. I believe the intent of the book was to teach the "real" story of Christmas, and though it made valid points about the commercialism and greed of the holiday, I didn't find a whole lot about Christ, the true "reason for the season," which I found surprising, as this is supposedly a "Christian book." Although none of the other books in the series are realistic, I found this one by far the most far-fetched and just plain ridiculous. I found some humor in the last few books, but "Ho-Ho-NOOO!" was just too over-the-top for my taste, and I honestly wouldn't recommend it, even for someone in the target audience.
Additionally, I know I've mentioned it before, but I really dislike the obsession with boy/girl dynamics, crushes, etc in these books. Not only do I find it inappropriate for the age of the 12 year old main character, but I would hope that a "Christian" book could have more helpful and edifying story lines. For that reason, and those I stated in the previous paragraph, I would rate this book 2 stars.
August 28, 2013
Ho-Ho-Nooo: Real Spirit of Giving
In Ho-Ho-Nooo, TJ learns a valuable lesson about giving and the real spirit of Christmas. Violet, TJÃ¢ÂÂs younger, genius sister is saving up the money needed to buy their father a huge flat-screened TV for Christmas. Violet brags about how her gift is going to be better than TJÃ¢ÂÂs and naturally, TJ wants to give her dad a better and more expensive gift than Violet so TJ gets a job as an elf. Unfortunately, things donÃ¢ÂÂt go as planned for TJ at her new job because of Tuna and Herby and disaster soon strikes. Meanwhile, Chad wants to do something good for people for Christmas and decides to help with his churchÃ¢ÂÂs project: feeding the homeless on Christmas Eve. Chad asks TJ to help with the project along with movie star, Hesper. TJ only helps so that she can earn money to go towards her fatherÃ¢ÂÂs gift and Hesper uses the project as a way to glorify herself on TV. However, things fall apart and in the end, HesperÃ¢ÂÂs scheme falls through and TJ learns that the best gifts come from the heart and serve others. This was a good book with a valuable lesson about what giving is and I think it would be a good book for Tweens and Teens to read because so many times, we are told messages about entitlement and fulfilling our desires no matter what the cost.
August 7, 2013
Cute Christmas book
Christmas is coming, TJ has no money to buy her Dad a present, and her sister is already planning the perfect gift. So TJ gets a job, with help from her 23rd century visitors. I thought this was a cute book with the typical craziness of this series. It was good to see TJ learn the true meaning of Christmas.
August 2, 2013
From the webpage: "Ho-Ho-NOOO! is all about TJ Finkelstein learning the real meaning of Christmas as she prepares for her future as a world leader with a little help from her 23rd-century goofball friends, Tuna and Herby. In a competition with her middle sister, TJ races to earn money so she can give it to her father as a Christmas present; heÃ¢ÂÂs lost his job and the family is preparing to spend their first Christmas without their mom. Thanks to Tuna and HerbyÃ¢ÂÂs help at her job interview, where their futuristic gadgets expose the true motivation of each candidate, TJ lands a job at the mallÃ¢ÂÂmaking kids smile for Santa and eventually playing (a much smaller) Santa herself. That job turns into a nanny gig for pop star Lady Goo-GooÃ¢ÂÂs spoiled and unattended kids. She also takes on a delivery job to help with dreamy Chad SteelÃ¢ÂÂs plan to provide a hearty meal for the homeless on Christmas Eve . . . only to find herself delivering caviar cream puffs on the whim of TV star and classmate Hesper Breakahart. Despite all her work, her efforts to get money for Christmas backfire, but in the end TJ realizes Christmas is really about being with those she loves and sharing the love God has given through Christ."
We really enjoyed this book. The Christmas theme was lots of fun. The true meaning of Christmas seems to be so lost on our country and culture anymore. Highly recommended for a fun read for your middle schooler or advantaged elementary schooler.
July 19, 2013