“Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.” ― Harold G. Coffin
Christmas trees aren’t the only things green in John Amory’s young adult tale A Christmas Caroler, the story of Jeremy Walsh, a high school senior who’s certain his final year in school will weigh heavily in his favor for the coveted and prestigious solo part in this year’s Christmas concert, and will guarantee a future at a prominent college, which will then lead to a certain path that includes one day singing at Carnegie Hall.
Until, that is, the new boy at school, Zach Brooks, lets loose with a voice that could make the angels weep; then all bets are off, and Jeremy turns positively pine green with envy that Zach has swooped in and snatched his dreams right out from under him.
This is a sweet little story of the bloom of first love and the ways in which envy nearly blinded Jeremy to the gift that was right there in front of him for the taking, if only he could open his heart and see past the failure to earn that solo spotlight, to the reality that Zach didn’t steal it as much as he simply owned it the moment he opened his pipes and let his voice soar.
With the help of a best friend who doesn’t pull any verbal punches and helps Jeremy realize he’s playing the part of the spoiled diva fairly well, Jeremy comes to realize, after nearly losing Zach’s friendship and permanently derailing what could be the start of something beautiful, that there is goodness and generosity and kindness that comes without ulterior motives or conditions, and those are a few gifts that Jeremy can return in full.
John Amory’s A Christmas Caroler is a heartwarming holiday story that’s worth at least a few smiles in the telling as these boys experience the first blushes of young love.