The Children in the Box

Steppie Morris

Written by Steppie Morris
Illustrated by Patricia Dewitt-Grush & Robin Dewitt

Two children, orphaned through war and disease, weather the winter as best they can in the wooden box they call home. As this young man works hard to provide for himself and his little sister, he faces a gut-wrenching choice. He finds a large sum of money – but he knows who it belongs to.

Will he muster enough courage to return it to its rightful owner? Or will he choose to purchase necessities that he and his sister have long gone without? Will they have a warm, full-bellied Christmas after all?

A heart-tugging holiday story about the power of family, the beauty of kindness, and the strength, goodness, and courage inside each of us.

Ages 3-12, 8.5″x11″


  1. Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite

    Can you imagine living in a wooden box? All through the coldest days of the winter? And living off scraps of food dumped by nearby residents? One youngster, only ten years old, and his five-year-old sister were forced to do just that. Both parents died leaving them homeless and penniless. But the boy is resourceful and hardworking. He manages to earn enough shining shoes and selling pencils to purchase food while resorting to cast-off clothing and blankets to keep warm. On Christmas Eve, he sells two pencils to a kind lady, then, when noticing the lady drops her purse without realizing it, the boy sets out to find her and return the purse. Wouldn’t it have been easier to keep it and the money he found inside? He would be able to purchase gifts and treats for his sister with all that money. It takes great courage to resist temptation and do the right thing.

    Steppie Morris’s story, Children in the Box, is a touching, compassionate story that will bring tears to the eyes of all readers, young and old alike. The plot follows the young boy as he’s faced with the daily struggle to support and care for his younger sister. The encounter with the lady who loses her purse presents a difficult dilemma, one in which the young boy demonstrates a maturity well beyond his years. The characters, setting, and events are well-developed and presented with historical accuracy. The story reads like a Charles Dickens classic complete with the difficult living conditions for orphaned children over a hundred years ago. The illustrations are lovely and help carry the story along. This is a special Christmas story that will warm the heart; something for everyone to enjoy year after year.

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