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Keeping Holiday [Paperback]

By Starr Meade (Author) & Justin Gerard (Illustrator)
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Item Number 93160  
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Item description for Keeping Holiday by Starr Meade & Justin Gerard...

Each year Dylan's family visits Holiday, and this time his determination to bring home the feelings and experiences of that special place leads Dylan and his cousin Clare on a journey through such places as the Forest of Life and Winterland as they seek the Founder and the true Holiday.

Publishers Description

Dylan loves his family's yearly vacation to Holiday and wishes it could last all year. When he finds a flyer asking if he'd like to keep Holiday, he encounters a bigger and better Holiday than the one his family has always visited; he also learns that entering it requires the Founder's authorization. Thus begins Dylan's quest to meet the one of whom people keep saying: "You can't find the Founder; he finds you./He's not just the Founder, he's the Finder too."

As Dylan reads of Holiday's origins, he experiences a number of adventures and meets characters who represent the sights and sounds he always finds in Holiday-characters who explain how each of these familiarities points to the Founder's previous rescue of the city's inhabitants. And the more Dylan learns, the more he longs to personally know the one who holds the key to entering the "real Holiday."

Writing for elementary-age children and older, author, teacher, and grandmother Starr Meade offers a book that families can read together, discovering along with Dylan how God brings a person to faith. Keeping Holiday is also a charming, insightful way to help children grasp the meaning of the Incarnation.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Keeping Holiday by Starr Meade & Justin Gerard has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Christian Retailing - 07/07/2008 page 67
  • CBA Retailers - 08/01/2008 page 59

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Crossway Books
Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.46" Width: 6.08" Height: 0.43"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2008
Publisher   Crossway Books/Good News
Grade Level  Multiple Grades  
Age  8-14
ISBN  1433501422  
ISBN13  9781433501425  

Availability  0 units.

More About Starr Meade & Justin Gerard

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Starr Meade served as the director of children's ministries for ten years at her local church and taught Latin and Bible for eight years at a Christian school. She is a graduate of Arizona College of the Bible and has authored a number of books. Starr lives in Arizona with her husband, where she currently teaches homeschool students and is mother to three grown children and six grandchildren.

Starr Meade currently resides in Mesa, in the state of Arizona. Starr Meade was born in 1956.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Religions > Christianity > Ages 9-12
2Books > Subjects > Children > Religions > Fiction > Fiction
3Books > Subjects > Teens
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Christian Allegory

Christian Product Categories
Books > Fiction > General Christian > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Keeping Holiday?

Wonderful Book!!  Jan 20, 2009
I started and finished reading this book in one day and loved every minute of it! Much as in real life, Dylan realizes that there must be more to the Holiday celebration than presents, eating, & being with others. He longs to understand what the underlying "more" is, and sets out to find the missing element. On his journey, very key biblical elements are introduced, including the doctrine of election, God's sovereignty, His providential care, the folly of works salvation, and even the realization that salvation is not passed from generation to generation. I was very impressed with this book and highly recommend it!
A Good Story and Even Better Theological Teaching  Jan 13, 2009
First, it is a good story. Once our family started reading it, the kids were very eager to get back to it and find out what happened with Dylan and Clare and their quest.

Second, the theological truths Meade communicates are profound. There is a lot here that you won't find in other Christian children's book.

The comparison to Bunyan and Lewis is appropriate and becomes obvious as the story unfolds. However, don't expect writing and storytelling on the level of those classic authors. If you've ever read the "Magic Treehouse" series of books with your kids, the writing is about on that level. It is good, but I don't think people will be reading it 50 or 350 years from now.
Destined to join other Christian classics like the Narnia Chronicls and Pilgrim's Progress  Dec 24, 2008
Keeping Holiday, by Starr Meade, Illustrations by Justin Gerard, Ages 9-12, Crossway Books, 2008, 192 Pages, ISBN-13: 978-1433501425, $14.99

When Dylan's parents tell Dylan and his cousin Clare they must pay close attention to what they see and hear in Holiday, they are puzzled. When they add the children might be called away for four days, they are mystified. They wait to learn more, but no further explanation is added.

As usual, their travels take them through miles of long traffic jams, but no one complains and tempers don't flare. Other motorists even smile and wave while they wait their turns to proceed. Caught up in the festive atmosphere, the youngsters anticipate their arrival where everything is "better than anywhere else," and they soon forget the parent's mysterious words.

When they arrive, the aroma of roasted meats, pies, and sugary sweets fill the air. Strings of twinkling street lights adorn quaint shops and promise Christmas magic. After they've settled into their hotel rooms, Clare finds an old black book in the dresser drawer and shows it to Dylan. He reads the title, "A Guide to Holiday for Visitors and Residents," and tells Clare it must be meant for them.

Inside the book they learn the history of the town of Holiday. They read how the town was once ruled by powerful bullies until a strong, kind king overthrew the tyrants and rescued the townspeople. Instead of building a thanksgiving monument, the townspeople transformed their restored city into a "world-renowned center of beauty and joy," where guests with temporary passes could visit four-days. For extended stays, visitors needed official authorization from the Founder.

The book also directed the youngsters to the information rack in the Holiday Visitors' Center to obtain temporary passes. While Dylan was at the center he asked where to find the Founder, and learned, "You don't find the Founder; he finds you. He's not just the Founder; he's the Finder too."

When the cousins find the small, white gate in back of the church, additional directions tell them to open the gate with their passes and walk down the winding path into the forest of majestic, evergreen trees where their life-changing quest begins. On their journey through the trees from the "forest of life," they meet trees that talk. If they cut off a small branch from one of these trees, they have "proof of life."

They also visit the "place of evil," where they learn that the Founder paid an enormous fine to grant them personalized passes. They also meet delightful Missy Mistletoe and learn why the Mistletoe was first known as the "plant of peace."

Next, they talk to the galaxy of stars in the night sky who tell them their job now is to announce who the "Founder is," where centuries before, one bright star pointed the way to the Founder. Add talking penguins and magical "Winterland Manufacturing, Inc." and this delightful story will enchant young and old alike.

Dylan and Clare's adventures lead them to insightful truths about the Founder of Holiday, with real-life examples of heavenly issues, and earthly choices. Where readers learn it's important to help others, act with kindness and forgiveness and pay back good for evil--and most important, to rejoice in and show respect to the Founder.

Mead's imaginative writing has been compared with C.S. Lewis and John Bunyan. When I finished reading the book I understood why. Although young readers can read the book alone, consider reading it aloud as a family. The books creative message will remind everyone of the real meaning of Christmas. Justin Gerard's well-done, black and white illustrations depict story scenes and characters and are sprinkled throughout the book.

Starr Meade's Christmas-themed narrative for young readers is destined to join other cherished Christian classics like the Narnia Chronicles, and Pilgrim's Progress. Meade blends fantasy and allegory together to tell the story of two young cousins, and their adventurous quest to experience the meaning of Christmas, and the Incarnation all year long. It has been years since I've read such an enjoyable, truth-centered fiction book. The book can be purchased at this site, or from

wonderful page turner!  Dec 24, 2008
We read this for the Christmas season to our two boys, 6 and 4, after receiving a recommendation from a friend. It reads like a mystery, and is very exciting! Our older son was begging me to please read one more chapter each time we ended one. We will make this a tradition year after year. Given the allegory, I expect them to understand more each year, but it is such a fantastic book! Just as an aside, there are a few parts that are highly suspenseful, and if you have children that are frightened easily, you may want to read it in the daytime.
Go on this journey today  Dec 16, 2008
The book is a wonderful children's journey we can all relate to. It takes you thru life's ups & downs and you begin to see how God is searching for us all the time. You don't find Him, He finds you!

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