‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays 2016 With Rebecca Behrens

‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays is a special seasonal feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which some of my favourite authors help me to celebrate the spirit of the season and spread a little holiday cheer. So, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and snuggle in by the fireside as they answer the question: “What does the holiday season mean to you?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Rebecca Behrens

Rebecca Behrens lives and writes in New York City, where she also works as a textbook editor. She is the author of When Audrey Met Alice, which BookPage called “a terrific work of blended realistic and historical fiction.” Her next novel, Summer Of Lost And Found, will be published in May 2016. Some of Rebecca’s favorite things are: the beach, history, running, doughnuts, and laughing.

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I wasn’t going to put up a tree this year.

Normally I love the holiday season: The twinkly lights, the music, the baked goods, the togetherness, the merriment, the moments of reflection. But 2016 was challenging before the election, and after…well, like many people I felt like if I could somehow sleep through the rest of the year, that would be fine with me. Post-Thanksgiving, I found my heart was a little too broken, still, to string tinsel. There is so much fear and suffering in the world, both far and near. And there is so much work to be done. How could I let myself be distracted by seasonal cheer? It didn’t feel right.

My plan was to maybe watch Die Hard (Hey, it’s a holiday movie) and call it a year.

One Sunday night in early December I was sitting in my living room when the sounds of a choir and brass drifted through the window. I heard the laughter and clatter of people hurrying down the street toward the park. It was the neighborhood Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, something I usually look forward to every year. I considered staying curled up in the armchair, inside. But instead I got up and slipped on some boots and into a coat. I wandered down the block to the crowd of New Yorkers, huddled together with cocoa and candles. I shoved my hands deep in my pockets and watched the tree come alive with light. Everyone cheered, and the caroling started up again.

I took a deep breath and opened my mouth to sing along.

The last sing-along song every year is John Lennon’s Christmas/protest song “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”, and this year my voice cracked and my eyes blurred a little as our community swayed and sang a shared hope for peace and unity, and a happy new year.

It was powerful. Sharing that moment with my neighbors, people of many backgrounds, I remembered why I love my adopted hometown. New Yorkers are all so different, yet we live together surprisingly well. And I realized that celebrating the season, whether with family, friends, or your community (off or online), is important. Even in hard times — Maybe even more so then.

So the program ended and, like always, they blasted Mariah Carey’s classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You” while people danced through the streets home. Even the cops blocking traffic were bopping along. Once back in my apartment, I dug out my boxes of decorations. The next day, my husband and I picked out a small tree. I’m still anxious and sad about the future. But every night when I turn off the tree’s lights before bed, I’m reminded: there is also still a lot of good in this world.

Title Summer of Lost and Found
Author Rebecca Behrens
Pages 288 Pages
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Genre & Keywords Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Published May 24th, 2016 by Aladdin ● Simon & Schuster
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Nell Dare expected to spend her summer vacation hanging out with her friends in New York City. That is, until her botanist mom dragged her all the way to Roanoke Island for a research trip. To make matters worse, her father suddenly and mysteriously leaves town, leaving no explanation or clues as to where he went — or why.

While Nell misses the city — and her dad — a ton, it doesn’t take long for her to become enthralled with the mysteries of Roanoke and its lost colony. And when Nell meets Ambrose — an equally curious historical reenactor — they start exploring for clues as to what really happened to the lost colonists. As Nell and Ambrose’s discoveries of tantalizing evidence mount, mysterious things begin to happen—like artifacts disappearing. And someone — or something — is keeping watch over their quest for answers.

It looks like Nell will get the adventurous summer she was hoping for, and she will discover secrets not only about Roanoke, but about herself.

2 responses to “‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays 2016 With Rebecca Behrens”

  1. Alexa S. says:

    I can totally relate to feeling anxious and afraid and sad about the future. It made the holidays a bit harder for me to really be glad about – until I realized that celebrating and getting into the spirit was actually helping lift my spirits.

    Also, I love this quote so, so much –> “New Yorkers are all so different, yet we live together surprisingly well. And I realized that celebrating the season, whether with family, friends, or your community (off or online), is important. Even in hard times — Maybe even more so then.” SO TRUE.
    Alexa S. recently posted…Alexa’s Best of 2016: Young Adult & Middle Grade BooksMy Profile

  2. Rebecca says:

    Thanks, Alexa! I’m glad celebrating the holidays is lifting your spirits–I know this week baking some treats and listening to Christmas music has helped me find moments of joy in an uncertain world. Best wishes for a happy new year!

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