Off the Hook

A Christmas Ornament Adventure

Children - Adventure
74 Pages
Reviewed on 11/15/2016
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

John Arvai III is an IT professional and US Army veteran living in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife, Michelle Arvai, and their three children. Off the Hook: A Christmas Ornament Adventure is John's first book which was adapted from an award-winning screenplay he wrote with the same title. John's book is best described as "Toy Story on a tree."

In addition to winning the Silver Medal in the Readers' Favorite International Book Awards, Off the Hook was named the Grand Prize Winner in the Holiday Book Festival, Winner in the National Indie Excellence Awards, Winner in the Independent Press Award, Honorable Mentions in the Foreword INDIES Book Of The Year Contest as well as named an Official Selection in the New Apple Book Awards.

The screenplay has thus far placed in ten major screenwriting contests including the Tracking Board Launch Pad (finishing in the top 75 out of 4,500 entries), Final Draft Big Break, Screencraft, and the Austin Film Festival. It has been requested/read by big Hollywood players such as CAA, Paradigm, Madhouse Entertainment, Energy Entertainment, and a host of others!

This book has also recently been adapted into a stunning play by a school in the Dominican Republic that you can see here >

To learn more about the book, the screenplay, and the school play please visit!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Off the Hook: A Christmas Ornament Adventure is an adventure picture book for children written by John Arvai III and illustrated by Eminence System. Most people think that Christmas ornaments are just there for decoration purposes, but they're really much more than just decorations. Those heroes on hooks actually make sure the tree lights are working properly, guard the cookies and milk from the family dog, and keep the fireplace in good shape so Santa can visit your house. Then there's the star that goes on top of the tree. This is an especially important ornament as it guides Santa to your house by sending out a golden glow that Santa can see from his sleigh. But what would happen if that star wasn't on top of your tree? What if your cat knocked it off the tree, and it tumbled out of reach? Something very much like that happened at the Thompson house when they were hosting their Christmas party. No one noticed that the star had ended up in a gift bag, and no one saw Aunt Connie leaving with it. Or did they?

John Arvai's adventure picture book for children, Off the Hook: A Christmas Ornament Adventure, follows the front and back side ornaments of the Thompson family's Christmas tree as they try to save Christmas for their family. This is an exciting story complete with conflicts, impossible situations, and a deadline that looms ever closer. Arvai's ornament characters are marvelous! He endows each one of them with a personality and his/her own role in this action-packed holiday tale. The illustrations provided by Eminence System are brilliantly colored and add depth and dimension to the plot. I found myself getting lost in each panel as I delightedly found every detail and action described in the story. Children of all ages, including those adults who volunteer for story time rather than have to sit and chat with the grownups, will thrill to this most unusual Christmas tale that actually gets better with each successive reading. Off the Hook: A Christmas Ornament Adventure is most highly recommended.

Gisela Dixon

Off the Hook: A Christmas Ornament Adventure by John Arvai III is a Christmas story for children with a message of friendship and teamwork. Christmas is fast approaching and the Thompson family has decorated their tree and are getting ready for Christmas. What they don’t know is that the star at the top of the Christmas tree is actually a secret transmitter through which Santa Claus monitors active Christmas trees and keeps track of the people living in these houses.

The story starts when the star is accidentally taken out of the house by an aunt. The ornaments are worried and the leader of ornaments, toy-soldier FAO, decides to lead a troop to go and find the star. However, his rival, Rob, who is from the back side of the tree, decides to go after the star himself to get control of the tree. Thus the adventures begin as the two rival teams race to the finish and end up learning valuable lessons about sharing, working together, friendship, and the spirit of Christmas.

Off the Hook: A Christmas Ornament Adventure by John Arvai III is a Christmas story with a modern twist. There is a star ornament that can help pinpoint locations and Santa Claus uses it to track homes. The plot of the book is new and interesting. The accompanying illustrations are a nice complement to the story and the various characters and ornaments throughout the book make it fun. Overall, this is a book that children would enjoy.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Christmas is a magical time of year for both children and grownups. All of the decorations make this magic special. An evergreen tree is just a tree without its lights and ornaments, but did we ever wonder why we need the ornaments on the tree? And why do we need a star at the top of the tree? Well, when the lights go out on Christmas Eve, the ornaments come alive and make everything special, ready for Santa’s arrival and ready for the excitement of Christmas morning. The star is a transmitter that tells Santa where to come with his gifts.

The Thompson family’s Christmas tree has a lot of ornaments, so many that the tree is decorated both at the front and at the back, against the wall. These ornaments are identified as front and back ornaments. And, when the star goes mysteriously missing one Christmas Eve, the front and back ornaments must put aside their differences and work together to find the star and return it to the Thompson family's tree in time for Santa’s arrival.

John Arvai III’s Christmas story, Off the Hook: A Christmas Ornament Adventure, is an unusual tale that presents the magic of the Christmas season in conjunction with a tale of cooperation and loving one another despite our differences. With spectacular illustrations, this story is both compassionate and full of fun and adventure. There is even some humor sprinkled in. The story is both charming and educational and would definitely be a special holiday story for the whole family to share. Well done!