Title: Matchless
Author: Gregory Maguire
Pages: 112
Pub: 2009; Harper
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling
Etc: Christmas Season

The Short of It

Matchgirl’s death brings about new family.

The Long of It

I have to be honest, I had never heard of the story The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson until this past school year when I stumbled upon a 20-minute animation that I showed to my classes.  Absolutely heart breaking and wonderful.  You should go and read it now. Or watch a it here.

The Thoughts about It

Evidently, what happens is author Gregory Maguire was asked by NPR to write a Christmas story.  Maguire, who is already known for re-writing famous and favorite tales* opted to use Anderson’s Matchgirl and add hope.  The story, read by Maguire, aired on NPR’s “All Things Considered” Christmas Day, 2008.

(I would have loved to hear him share the story!  I must find time to quiet the house and listen to it online HERE).

I know I’m early – about six months early! But perhaps you’d like to save this review for the winter season and have a go at it.  I’ll definitely be including it in my lesson this up and coming year.


  1. I read this last Christmas but never got around to reviewing it. You know, all these months later I'm still not completely sure how I feel about it.

  2. I think I read this at the beginning of 2010. I really liked it. I had heard of The Little Match Girl before from Jason but never read it until after reading Matchless. I actually think I like Matchless better...

  3. I've heard of the Little Match girl, but not of the retelling. It sounds a great Christmas read and thanks for the NPR link.

  4. I haven't read this one but I just finished Wicked and I love what he did with it.

  5. I haven't read this one but I just finished Wicked and I love what he did with it.


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