Celebrate Thirty Years of The Polar Express Book


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eighty mph mom 2015 holiday gift guide
In case you are not aware, Christmas is coming soon.  We have been on a Christmas countdown here, with my daughter asking daily “How many more days until Christmas?”  And although we  need to get through Thanksgiving first, there is no doubt that the Christmas buzz is in the air everywhere you go.

Every year at this time, I get excited not only for Christmas itself, but for all of the other holiday traditions in my family.  Besides the things we do like setting up and decorating the Christmas tree, making yummy cookies and other treats, and picking out the perfect presents for loved ones, we also have our list of classic holiday stories  and movies that we enjoy this time of year.

If I asked all of you to name a classic holiday story that your family enjoys, I am sure of lot of responses would be “The Polar Express.”  My family would agree – even though we do not own the movie, my daughters love The Polar Express and we try to catch it every time it is on the television.  Although the movie has only been out since 2004, the book that the movie is based on has been out since 1985 and is now available in a new 30th Anniversary Edition!

The Polar Express was written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg, and was the 1986 Caldecott Medal Winner (the highest award for children’s books!).  The Polar Express 30th Anniversary Edition, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, comes as a hardcover book with a brand-new jacket design and a letter from the author.  You can also download an audio version of the book, read by Liam Neeson.  Finally, the 30th Anniversary Edition comes with a golden keepsake ornament.  Our tree is not up yet, but I cannot wait to hang the beautiful ornament front and center.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Polar Express, it is a wonderful story about  a boy who has never heard Santa’s sleigh bells.  He takes a ride on The Polar Express train to the North Pole and is picked by Santa to receive the first gift.  He chooses to receive one of the bells from Santa’s sleigh, and it has the sweetest sound he has ever heard.  I love the symbolism of the bell and the boy’s belief in Santa and the magic of Christmas.  The last line of the book is my favorite – “At one time most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them.  Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound.  Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me as it does for all who truly believe.”

My girls, although familiar with the story already, loved having me read them the book and looking at the beautiful illustrations.  There is even a spot in the inside cover of the book where I was able to write their names – “Especially for Kaitlyn and Laurel.”  The Polar Express is going on the bookshelf with all of our other Christmas stories to enjoy over and over this holiday season and all of those holiday seasons to come.

The Polar Express 30th Anniversary Edition is available for $19.99 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt or in bookstores.  It is sure to be a wonderful gift this holiday season, or add it to your own collection of classic Christmas stories!  Be sure to check out the Polar Express website for a countdown to Christmas calendar, fun games and activities, recipes, and a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to ride The Polar Express Train in Durango, Colorado.

I am also excited to announce that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is participating in a charitable campaign this holiday season.  Every time the hashtag #ReadandBelieve is used in social media now through December 31, a copy of The Polar Express will be donated to Christmas in the City, a non-profit organization that helps families in need.  Include #ReadandBelieve in your social media postings, share a quote from The Polar Express or post about your holiday wishes or traditions, and support a worthy cause this holiday season!

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Enter below to win a copy of The Polar Express 30th Anniversary Edition here at Eighty MPH Mom!


One (1) winner will receive a copy of The Polar Express 30th Anniversary Edition.

Open to residents of U.S. only.  Ends 11/27/15.  ARV: $20.

No purchase necessary. Open to residents of US only. Giveaway ends November 27, 2015 at 9:00 p.m. (PST). ONE ENTRANT PER HOUSEHOLD/IP Address! I check all entries – cheating will not be tolerated. Winner will be notified via email and needs to reply within 48 hours, or a new winner will be chosen. Please make sure you check your spam folder – I will not be responsible if you did not receive winning email notification. Winners name(s) will be displayed on the post, and will also be posted on Winners List shortly after drawing has occurred. Winners will be chosen randomly by Giveaway Tools. Screenshots of winners available by request. Prize will be shipped directly from sponsor or their PR Agency unless otherwise noted. Eighty MPH Mom is not responsible for prizes lost in transit, although every attempt will be made for prize delivery.

**By entering this giveaway, you confirm that you have read and agree to my giveaway rules. Sponsor reserves the right to limit one prize per person/household (of this item/prize pack). Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of prize {though it is usually much sooner}. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability. Odds of winning: The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. All prizes will be awarded. Void where prohibited by law.


About Author

Angela is another Nebraska native, happily married, and the mother of two girls - Kaitlyn (who is 3) and Laurel (who is 1). She also has two fun and furry golden retrievers - Callie and Abbie. Angela is a litigation attorney, working in such areas as commercial law, employment law, family law, real estate law, insurance defense, and school law. In her spare time, she loves to read, watch movies, sew (mostly cross-stitch), and hang out with her family. Angela is new to the blogging world, but is having fun contributing to Eighty MPH Mom!


  1. The Polar Express is one of our favorites., I love the story behind it and my youngest son who is obsessed with trains loves it as well.

  2. Crystal Rogers Walker on

    I love the it is family friendly and no bad words in it and it has a storyline, it is my all time favorite

  3. My daughter loves this movie! She would be so excited to own the book! I love that it teaches lessons about being there for others

  4. Jennifer Rogers on

    We just love the whole story. It has such a magical quality surrounding the story of Santa and the Northpole and the true meaning of Christmas!

  5. Honestly, I’ve never seen the book or the movie. I’ve heard only good things though and my grandson would love this book. The illustrations look beautiful. Thank-you!

  6. I’ve never read the book before but one of my family’s holiday traditions is to read holiday themed books in December and I’d love to be able to read this with my daughter.

  7. I can’t believe this story is 30 years old. I like that it was made into a great movie for more people to enjoy the timeless story.

  8. My husband has passed on his love of all things train to our granddaughter – so, I like that a train-themed book is available for him to read to her during the holidays! A wonderful story with great illustrations.

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