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Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting Read on Any Day of the Year; Masterful Novel Sure to Become a Christmas Classic; Great Christmas Stocking Stuffer, 14 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Mary's Son: A Tale of Christmas (Hardcover)
A delight for everyone--for the boys, for the girls, for the adults wanting "a little bit of Christmas," for the teacher desiring a novel interesting enough to hold the attention span of adolescents.

Recipient of three Mom's Choice Awards: Gold for Inspirational/Motivational for Young Adults (13 +), Juvenile (9-12 years), and Gold for Adult Fiction & Literature, this novel is sure to be a Christmas classic, an annual much-sought-after stocking stuffer, and an all-year-around favorite fiction.

Mary's Son is sure to top the wish list of favorite kids, grandkids, friends, children and neighbors. If you personally don't have a child, Mary's Son, will make you wish that you did--or, even, perhaps, adopt one, or borrow one for the afternoon--just so that you'll have a youngster to shower with a gift that's entertaining, educational, and decidedly inspirational. And, to boot, Mary Son's has tremendous story appeal for adults, too.

Written in a style that's riveting and engaging and with elements of magic that will leave you engrossed, Mary's Son is sure to appeal not only to adolescents, but also to those young at heart. Alliteration, plot, and lessons learned make for rapt reading. That author Darryl Nyznyk can relate to kids is entirely evident as traversing pages and chapters shows.

Make sure to curl up with a mug of hot apple cider or hot chocolate with marshmallows or a tall glass of cold lemonade or cold milk as you start travelling the pages of this sumptuous story, for chances are great that you won't put the book down anytime soon once you begin your journey. The novel, set in contemporary times, blends in chapters from Christmases past as it appeals to a wide range of audiences and ages and examines relationships.

Mary's Son is full of opposites. Sarah, an eleven-year old girl is a character sure to be enjoyed by young female readers; she lives in a mansion surrounded by servants, cooks, maintenance workers, maids, and other adults. Jared, a thirteen-year old boy who lives in the slums is sure to be identified with by young male readers. The girl is raised by her single dad; the boy is raised by his temporarily single mom. Both are convinced that Santa Claus doesn't exist; both encounter him personally, and their worlds are never again the same. Not only does Nicholas go by the name of Santa Claus, but he looks and acts like Santa, too. Nicholas states that "for those who don't believe in me, I can't exist." Within the pages of Mary's Son, Nicholas embarks on a journey not only to convince Sarah and Jared that he exists, but also all others in the reading audience who may harbor a doubt.

Open the pages of this fiction, and learn what, according to Santa, Christmas really is; learn what story Santa tells Sarah; learn why adults, as they age, fight; learn what Christmas has become for adults; learn what the worst thing is that adults can do regarding Christmas; learn what Sarah was doing when she had her first encounter with Jared; learn the secret about being good; learn what the alternative to being good is; learn what another word for magic is that starts with the letter 'm'; and, also, learn what the most important thing is about the Christmas season (hint: it has nothing to do with taking or receiving). Learn very many concepts and lessons in this fiction that are really nonfiction. Journey into the past with Sarah, Jared, and Nicholas as they witness the birth of Jesus, for in reality, Christmas is, indeed, a celebration of the birth of Jesus.

Throughout the book, chapters and subchapters are embellished with the cheery color of Christmas as Christmas holly, chapter numbers, and drop caps take on the happy note of the Christmas season. The text is smooth, riveting, engrossing and with delightful alliteration. One favorite alliterated line begins with: "Dreary daylight drifted toward dusk..." More such delightful rhetoric abounds throughout.

Author Darryl Nyznyk has worn a number of hats: attorney, president of a real estate development company, and now author. That he's successful in his endeavors is very apparent.

Five stars plus for a story of family, of not losing hope, of sticking together, of not being afraid of being politically incorrect--yes, for a book that's sure to warm your heart and put you into the Christmas spirit even if you, personally, are experiencing the dog days of summer. This is a story for all skeptics in the audience who don't believe in Santa Claus. If you know a Scrooge, leave a copy of Mary's Son under that person's door mat for perusal; the person, as you know him or her, may change from Scrooge into someone you'll welcome at your Christmas table. Very heartily recommended, I very much look forward to reading Darryl Nyznyk's first novel, The Third Term, as well as his upcoming thriller, The First Gospel.

Addendum: adolescents may particularly enjoy several of the other books that I've reviewed, including two by award-winning artist and author, Ukrainian-Canadian William (Wasyl) Kurelek. My Listmania list for children currently lists thirty books. Click on my pseudonym, Mandrivnyk, to get to my profile page. Once there, click on the Listmania lists tab and search for other treasures to enjoy.

To learn about things Ukrainian, visit the Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Readers, you're also invited to visit each of my reviews--most of them have photos (with notes) that I took in Ukraine (over 600)--you'll learn lots about Ukraine and Ukrainians. My Listmania list entitled Children's Corner--for the Young and the Young at Heart, has many photos that I took throughout Ukraine that will have special appeal to the younger set. The image gallery shows smaller photos, which are out of sequence. The preferable way is to see each review through my profile page since photos that are germane to that particular book/VHS/DVD are posted there with notes and are in sequential order.

To visit my reviews: click on my pseudonym, Mandrivnyk, to get to my profile page; click on the tab called review; scroll to the bottom of the section, and click on see all reviews; click on each title, and on the left-hand side, click on see all images. The thumbnail images at the top of the page show whether photos have notes; roll your mouse over the image to find notes posted. Also, you're invited to visit my Listmania lists, which have materials sorted by subject.

Additionally, both kids and adults will find it to be enjoyable and educational to learn the names and locations of the regions/oblasts of Ukraine and test their knowledge by solving the Interactive Puzzle map. Please see my comment below this review for further information.

Moreover, to view excellent slideshows of the 25 regions (24 oblasts and one autonomous republic) of Ukraine (you may even set the length of the slideshow), please see my comment below this review.
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Initial post: 14 Aug 2011 14:56:23 BDT
Greetings All :)

To learn more about things Ukrainian, visit the Encyclopedia of Ukraine.

Further, to learn more about Ukraine and Ukrainians in an enjoyable and educational way by learning the names and locations of the regions/oblasts in Ukraine and testing your knowledge by solving the Interactive Puzzle map, visit Additionally, you'll find there numerous other links that are educational and entertaining.

Moreover, to view excellent slideshows showcasing the 25 regions (24 oblasts and one autonomous republic) of Ukraine (you may set the length of the slideshow), please visit:

Finally, to easily access over 1,600 YouTube links with Ukrainian songs, karaoke, games, educational links, and videos, please visit: This link showcases Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever (please read my review for more information), a trilingual (Ukrainian-English-French) children's dictionary which delights as it educates. Web enhanced (infoukes/scarry) with pronunciations, games, and more, it's produced for use in Ukrainian-language schools and by Ukrainian families. The second edition contains additional words which came into general use in Ukraine following its independence in 1991. Learning is fun, easy and engaging as over 1,500 objects are illustrated.

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Location: Arlington Heights, IL - USA

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