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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
It's only two days before Christmas and Patty desperately needs to see Santa Claus at the mall. In fact, she's brought along her resume to apply for a job. Her resume isn't much because Patty's not even twelve yet, but she feels this strong urge to seek employment with Santa Claus. She's brought along her younger brother, Sean, who's not being very cooperative. Both siblings are still struggling from the recent and tragic death of their mother. That's made Sean very rebellious and he no longer believes in Santa Claus. In fact, he tells everyone that Santa Claus doesn't exist. Patty still believes, even though she's sad without her mother. And Patty's birthmark is starting to really bother her. It's growing, moving and very itchy. Her mother was going to explain to her about the birthmark, but she never had the chance. There were many other things that Patty's mother didn't have the opportunity to tell her daughter, like there was a strong connection between the women in Patty's family and the North Pole.
The visit to the mall turns into a disaster. Sean causes all kinds of disruptions and the lineups are impossibly long. The two return home frustrated, Patty with a massive headache that sends her straight to bed. The next morning, she discovers that her brother had stolen some precious letters from Santa Claus's mailbox, letters from hopeful children asking for that special gift. Returning to the mall, Patty thinks that she is just returning the letters to Santa Claus before it's too late. What awaits her is an adventure that she never expected, one that will set the forces of good and evil in a battle to end the power of Santa Claus and his jolly elves. It's the jolly that keeps them going and apparently Patty has a lot of jolly.
Ellwyn Autumn's fantasy novel, Chris Kringle's Cops: The First Mission, is a powerful story full of strong characters and good lessons. This is more than just a story about Santa Claus and the North Pole. It's a story full of compassion, dedication and the importance of being good and, of course, being jolly. This is an outstanding story for young readers. The forces of good against evil and the legend of Santa Claus and the North Pole make for a dynamic mix of fun and adventure.