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Gloria wakes up on Christmas morning to find that Mama is going to work instead of taking her to Nana's house in Mexico to celebrate.
MAMA HAD TO WORK ON CHRISTMAS is available as an e-book.


“This small chapter book with moving, realistic black-and-white illustrations does bring home the painful truth about class differences, a subject seldom addressed in children’s books.” Booklist

“Marsden effectively portrays Gloria’s resentment of what she does not have and subsequent appreciation for her having family and all that she does have. Her tale will be an eye-opener for many youngsters." Publishers Weekly

“This account of one girl’s Christmas could have been saccharine or preachy, but the tone is matter-of-fact and engaging, and Gloria is an appealing character.” School Library Journal

One Christmas, my mother took me and my family to a lovely buffet in a fancy hotel. The food was so delicious I didn't know what to eat first! Then I noticed the waiters and bus boys, the women in the bathroom handing us towels. I felt bad for them because they had to work on a holiday. Then I began to imagine what it was like for children to have a parent working. After dinner, we took a boat ride across the bay. As I rode, I made up the story of Gloria.