Jingle Bells by John Harris
How the Holiday Classic Came to Be

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The unexpected story of the creation of a holiday classic - in the most unlikely of places.
It is November 1857 in Savannah, Georgia, and the heat is stifling. Choir director James Lord Pierpont is busy writing a song for the children of the church to perform to usher in the holiday season. He is also worried. Many townspeople are angry because the congregation does not believe in slavery, and someone has thrown a brick through one of the church windows.
As Mr. Pierpont sweeps up the glass from the broken window, he recalls his own Boston childhood, the sound of sleigh bells, and the fun of riding in a sleigh through the snow. Suddenly he gets an idea. A few days later - with the happy sounds of children singing and jingling bells and bags of "snow" - Mr. Pierpont introduces the delighted churchgoers to the charms of a northern Christmas!


About John Harris

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John Harris has written a number of books for children, including, most recently, My Monster Notebook. Of A Giraffe Goes To Paris (co-written with Mary Tavener Holmes), Publishers Weekly said, "This is history for children the way it ought to be written." He lives in California.Adam Gustavson has illustrated sixteen books for children, including Mind Your Manners, Alice Roosevelt! and Snow Day!. He lives in New Jersey.
Published October 1, 2011 by Peachtree Publishers. 32 pages
Genres: History, Humor & Entertainment, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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The story begins with a racially based attack on the church (bricks thrown through the church windows because a few church members were African-American) and concludes with the two girls side-by-side performing in solidarity, with the composer’s rousing hope that the song “reaches the whole world...

Sep 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Jingle Bells: How the Holiday...

Publishers Weekly

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in an early scene that gives the story additional historical depth, Pierpont explains to his daughter that a brick hurled through their church window was likely done because the congregation includes four former slaves.

Sep 26 2011 | Read Full Review of Jingle Bells: How the Holiday...

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