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The Light at Tern Rock

post written by Emma Filbrun

The Light at Tern Rock by Julia L. SauerTitle: The Light at Tern Rock
Author: Julia L. Sauer
Major Themes: Christmas, Lighthouses
Synopsis: When Byron Flagg deceives Aunt Martha and Ronnie into staying on the Rock to run the lighthouse for longer than he had asked them to, how do they respond?

I’ve read The Light at Tern Rock aloud several times now, as my children grow up and I take them through the Kindergarten level of Sonlight Curriculum. They have all enjoyed this story, but I think I probably get more out of it than they do.

As Ronnie arrives home from school one December afternoon, excitedly telling his Aunt Martha about his class practicing Christmas carols, he finds an older man talking to her. Byron Flagg is using all his powers of persuasion to convince Martha to take his place running the lighthouse for a couple of weeks so he can have a break. He guarantees that he will have her off the rock on the 15th—in plenty of time to have Christmas at home. Finally, Martha gives in to his pleading and reasoning, and agrees that she and Ronnie will run the light for him.

When the 15th comes and goes with no sign of Mr. Flagg, how do Aunt Martha and Ronnie respond? Can they have a peaceful, happy Christmas on the rock, even though they have been betrayed? Read this lovely, short story with only four easy chapters, and find out for yourself. If you’re looking for Christmas-themed stories, this is a wonderful one.

No warnings!

Age Levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12


Links to buy The Light at Tern Rock:

Amazon: Paperback

AbeBooks: View Choices on

Book Depository: Buy with Free International Shipping


Christmas, Lighthouses

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