It was Christmas Eve. Big snowflakes fluttered slowly through the air like white feathers
and made all of Heavenly Valley smooth and white and quiet and beautiful.
So begins the story of two orphaned sisters at Mrs. Monday’s Boarding School. But nothing is heavenly for Nancy and Pamela (aka Plum): their parents died in a tragic accident years ago, they’re constantly punished by the cruel Mrs. Monday, and they’re all alone for the holidays.
Luckily, Nancy and Plum have each other, and though their prospects may be bleak, they’re determined to change their lot for the better. If their plan works, the spirited sisters will never spend Christmas at the cold, dark boarding school again. But what will they find on the other side of Mrs. Monday’s gate?
Adventure, warmth, unforgettable characters, and unexpected kindness abound in this classic story by Betty MacDonald, which was originally published in 1952. With illustrations by the acclaimed Mary GrandPré and an introduction by Jeanne Birdsall, National Book Award–winning author of The Penderwicks, this edition introduces the spunky, beloved heroines to a new generation of fans.
About the Author
A longtime resident of Washington State, Betty MacDonald (1908-1958) authored four humorous, autobiographical bestsellers and several children's books, including the popular Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books.
Newbery Medal winner Nancy Willard has written numerous beloved books for children and adults, including poetry, picture books, and novels. She teaches writing and literature at Vassar College.
Mary GrandPre is the acclaimed illustrator of many children's books, including Plum, by Tony Mitton; The Thread of Life, by Domenico Vittorini; and the bestselling Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling.
Jeanne Birdsall is the National Book Award-winning author of The Penderwicks and its sequel, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street (Knopf), both of which were also New York Times bestsellers. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts with her husband, three insane cats, and a stubborn Boston terrier named Cagney. Visit her website at www.jeannebirdsall.com. Matt Phelan is the illustrator of the Newbery Award winner The Higher Power of Lucky and its sequel, Lucky Breaks (Atheneum), both by Susan Patron, as well as the Harcourt books Very Hairy Bear by Alice Schertle and Big George by Ann Rockwell. He lives in Philadelphia. You can visit his website at www.mattphelan.com.