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An excerpt from The Carpenter’s Gift -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

An excerpt from The Carpenter’s Gift

 


Frank and the others took the tallest of the trees that Henry and his father had given them and decorated it with whatever they could cobble together.

   
   
 


Henry added an ornament of his own, made of newspaper that he folded into a star.

   


For the rest of the afternoon, Henry and his father sold trees to passersby. By the end of the day, they had earned enough money to make the trip a success.

“We should be getting home by now,” Henry’s father said as the sun set behind a tall building.

“What about the rest of the trees?” Henry asked.

“I thought we’d give them to Frank and the other fellows.”

Henry nodded in agreement. The best presents are the ones you don’t expect, he thought.

*****

Because it was Christmas Eve, the workers were having a little party. Frank and the others took the tallest of the trees that Henry and his father had given them and decorated it with whatever they could cobble together: paper garlands, cranberries threaded onto string, and even a few shiny tin cans. Henry added an ornament of his own, made of newspaper that he folded into a star.

In the background, he could hear his father talking with Frank about grown-up things: the hard times for Henry’s family, the shack in which they lived. But Henry didn’t want to think about those things. He just wanted to look at the most marvelous Christmas tree he had ever seen.

*****

It had been the best day that Henry could remember, and he didn’t want it to end. He stood before the decorated tree, enchanted. The streetlamps had just come on, and the tin cans glittered in their light. If ever there was a magic moment, Henry thought, this is it.

He decided to make a special Christmas wish. He wished that one day his family would live in a nice, warm house.

Excerpt and illustrations from The Carpenter's Gift by David Rubel, excerpt copyright ©2011 by David Rubel and illustrations copyright ©2011 by Jim LaMarche. Reprinted by permission of Random House Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, a division of Random House Inc.