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Las Vegas Kids’ Writer C.A. Hartnell Partners with Opportunity Village During this Holiday Season

The Gift of Giving

“Dig That Crazy Santa Claus,” “What Child is This?” and “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” played on car radios and Hi-fi stereos throughout the month of December, 1955, in El Monte, California, and in the pages of the award-winning book, Wild Winter: Christmas, Clues, and Crooks, by local Las Vegas kids’ writer, C.A. Hartnell. Readers eight-years-old and up, will take a blast to Christmas past in this historical, fiction chapter book and receive a holiday treat!

Follow Hartnell’s main characters, eleven-year-old neighbors, Pete and Carol Ann, during December of 1955, through Wild Winter’s pages that abound with holiday cheer and lessons about the gift of giving. These All-American kids cruised with teen-aged drivers by brilliantly lighted seasonal scenes. Christmas stockings had been hung on fireplace mantels and doors. While “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” played, certain circumstances turned Pete and Carol Ann’s season of joy and giving into a wild winter.

Hartnell’s Wild Winter is book four in The 1950s Adventures of Pete and Carol Ann series. Actual events in Hartnell’s childhood inspired all four books: Scary Spring: Our Polio Fright of 1955; Sinister Summer: Cars, Cruisers, and Close Calls; Ferocious Fall: Our Wild Weather Escapes; Wild Winter: Christmas, Clues, and Crooks. Each book in the series earned a 2013 Mom’s Choice Silver Award honoring excellence, and a Literary Classics International 2014 Gold Book Award Best in Category for Best Chapter Book Series. The judges from Literary Classics gave the book series their Seal of Approval and the following reviews: “Highly recommended for school and home libraries.” “Good old-fashioned stories with good old-fashioned values.”

Wild Winter: Christmas, Clues, and Crooks, the final book in the series, finds best friends, Pete and Carol Ann, planning a Christmas Pageant to raise money to give to needy families in their 1955 community while they work to discover the crooks who are stealing their money and holiday joy. With fun and suspense, Hartnell transports readers back in time. Today, Hartnell’s love of community and giving shines forth both in her chapter book, Wild Winter, and her volunteer activities for Opportunity Village of Las Vegas, Nevada, and their community of clients. Hartnell gives of her time on the Opportunity Village Foundation Board, attending OV events, and decorating Christmas trees in the OV Magical Forest at 6300 West Oakey Blvd, Las Vegas. She decorates the trees with retro ornaments, Wild Winter book covers, and signs that encourage kids to read for “Reading is a Gift.”

Hartnell’s four, award-winning books for kids can be purchased in the Opportunity Village Gift Cabin at the Magical Forest with a percentage of purchases going to OV, at, in bookstores, and at her website: While the characters in Hartnell’s book, Wild Winter: Christmas, Clues, and Crooks, give gifts, work to solve a Christmas mystery, and help needy folks in their 1950s community, Hartnell along with the Las Vegas community discover holiday joy by supporting the Magical Forest that helps Opportunity Village serve intellectually disabled adults . . . a wonderful gift of giving.

Historical Fiction Chapter Books   |   Las Vegas Children's Author   |   Children's Chapter Books

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