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The Nutcracker Comes to America

How Three Ballet-Loving Brothers Created a Holiday Tradition

by Chris Barton Author · Cathy Gendron Illustrator


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Every December, The Nutcracker comes to life in theaters all across the United States. But how did this 19th-century Russian ballet become such a big part of the holidays in 21st-century America?

Meet Willam, Harold, and Lew Christensen, three small-town Utah boys who caught the ballet bug in the early 1900s. They performed on vaudeville and took part in the New York City dance scene. Russian immigrants shared the story of The Nutcracker with them, and during World War II, they staged their own Christmastime production in San Francisco. It was America's first full-length version and the beginning of a delightful holiday tradition.

Publication Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Millbrook Press ™
Publication Date:


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Chris Barton (Author)

Chris Barton is a best-selling author who lives in Austin, Texas, with his family. Chris has received the Carter G. Woodson Book Award and Orbis Pictus Honors for his titles, and his books have been included on 19 state lists.

More about Chris Barton
The Nutcracker Comes to America
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