Cover image for The No-Good Nine
The No-Good Nine
In 1931, nine naughty children who received coal in their stockings travel from Pittsburgh to the North Pole to plead their case to Santa Claus.
Ages 9-12.
Physical Description:
302 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Publication Date:

Publication Information:
New York, New York : Viking, 2018.

Call Number:


Item Barcode
Call Number
Item Holds
33607003402842 New Juvenile Fiction MARCIAN

On Order



No kids get coal in their stocking these days. Do you know why? It's thanks to The No-Good Nine!
Pittsburgh, 1931. When Peter awakens on Christmas morning to find his stocking full of coal, he is outraged. After he finds the Naughty List, which contains the names of some other children who received no gifts, he decides they should band together and journey to Santa's workshop to plead their case, as well as play with the toys intended for the Nice children. The ragtag band of misfits sets out on a series of wild misadventures as they travel by train, truck, dog sled, and boat, encountering thieves and bootleggers,, in order to reach the renowned Toy Factory-only to accidentally burn it down. More slapstick capers follow before the No-Good Nine extricate themselves and set out to find their next great adventure.

Author Notes

Author and illustrator John Bemelmans Marciano is the grandson of award-winning writer Ludwig Bemelmans. John discovered an unfinished manuscript for a children's story featuring Bemelmans' beloved picture-book heroine Madeline while rummaging through his late relative's memorabilia. Although Marciano had never met his grandfather, who passed away in 1962, he was well aquinted with his grandfather's six "Madeline" books and Bemelmans' engaging artwork.

Madeline in America, and Other Holiday Tales is based on Bemelman's unfinished manuscript, "Madeline's Christmas in Texas," completed and illustrated by Marciano. Basing his illustrations on the pencil sketches left by his grandfather, Marciano completes the story of Madeline who, with teacher Miss Clavel and the other eleven girls from her school in Paris, travels to Texas after she inherits a cattle ranch, gold mines, and oil wells. Including two other stories by Bemelmans, Madeline in America, and Other Holiday Tales also features an essay by Marciano's mother, Barbara Bemelmans, describing Christmas festivities in her artistic father's home. His title Madeline at the White House made Publisher's Weekly best seller list in 2011.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In Depression-era Pittsburgh, a "Know-It-All" kid finds a segment of Santa's naughty list, organizes a diverse crew of his listed compatriots, and sets out to petition the end of Christmas coal-saving Christmas and unionizing elves along the way. Narrated unreliably by the group's "Liar" ("The secret to making up stuff is to give your stories a hint of truth"), and funded by the wealthy "Brat," the journey progresses with madcap speed as the band of nine (or so-the number changes throughout in a running gag) heads to Santa's Workshop by rail, dogsled, and boat. En route to meeting an autocratic, holiday industry-obsessed Santa, they flee a Russian truant officer, fall in with gold-toothed rumrunner Mummy Rummy, and begin to move beyond their bad-seed monikers ("Cruel" and "Hooligan" among them). With as many laughs and double-crosses as befits a band of naughty-listers, the tale offers raucous holiday adventuring with a gentle political bent. "Nine for one, and one for nine." Ages 9-12. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.