Thursday, October 9, 2008

Cole Family Christmas Book Review

We recently had the opportunity to review Cole Family Christmas by Jennifer Liu Bryan.
About the book:

The book was written by Jennifer Liu Bryan and Hazel Cole Kendle, a grandmother/granddaughter team who documented a true family story passed down for generations about Hazel's coal mining family and an unforgettable Christmas experience in the 1920s. At 88-years-old, this is Hazel's first children's book, which started off as a family project until the publisher recognized her story as a valuable lesson for American families and ordered 60,000 copies!
This book is made up of 9 short chapters to help encourage family-time by reading aloud to one another. This truly is heart-warming story that reminds us the one of the best parts of Christmas is creating family memories!!! This true story will be shared each year at Christmas with our family. This quick and easy read mountain memoir is built around a special time of year and the setting is in the heart of the Appalachian coalfields - Harlan County, Kentucky. This book teaches values such as family centeredness, compassion, strength, and tenderness. Since this book was set in Kentucky (where we live) my kids were able to make personal connections with this story. This book is full of detailed illustrations that helped to keep my little ones interested in the story. I can't wait to share this book with my 5th grade class this holiday season. It would be a great resource for any teacher!! I strongly believe that each family should own their own copy of this book!!

Cole Family Christmas has been described as a true, tender, and wholly unforgettable tale of a coal miner's family that has been passed down from generation to generation. Hazel Cole Kendle, 88, related the story of this very special family Christmas from her childhood to her granddaughter-in-law and co-author, Jennifer Liu Bryan. Before the publication of Cole Family Christmas, the tale had been treasured oral history.

"It was my sister Ruble, our family's storyteller, who passed down to me the story of a magical Christmas when things didn't go quite as planned… yet that Christmas became one of my family's most beloved and memorable holidays," Hazel says. "I, in turn, told this story to my children, who then told it to their own children. I think this tale has been meaningful to each new generation."

Jennifer hopes that Cole Family Christmas inspires other families to recognize and preserve their histories as well. "Having the opportunity to spend time listening to Hazel's stories has been such a rewarding experience," she says. "I hope other families can share their cherished tales in this way, too."

Indeed, Cole Family Christmas -- which was showcased by Next Chapter Press at BookExpo America 2008 -- has been a family affair from start to finish. More than 20 Cole family members assisted on everything from background research to promotional design.

Hazel was one of nine Cole children raised in the small mining community of Benham, Kentucky, in the Appalachian Mountains. The tale, based on a true story, follows a special Christmas when the Cole children are allowed to ask Santa for gifts from the Sears catalogue wish book. An unlikely snowstorm, however, sets the stage for a holiday in which gifts are given and received that no one could have predicted. The joyful and unexpected Christmas morning that results has lived on as family lore, and is preserved in Cole Family Christmas.

The ambitious project has already been a success in one way: Its first-time authors feel Cole Family Christmas is a testament to the importance of recording family history and the experiences shared in the process.

Release Date: September 2008
ISBN-13: 978-0-7618-4106-7
ISBN-10: 0-7618-4106-7
Order your copy today:
Cole Family Christmas may be purchased for only $17.95.

Thanks so much to Family Review Network & Cole Family Christmas for this great opportunity!


Julianne said...

This is a little pricey for us right now, but it truly sounds like an incredible book.

I run a free children's and family ministry site. We provide free materials to ministries and families around the world. I am wondering, does this have a faith theme to it by chance?

Is this going to come out in paperback or something of that sort where it will be cheaper eventually? Or possibly as an e-book?

Thank you so much for sharing about this book, it intrigues me.

Blessings to you and yours, Julianne

Nancy Murphy said...

Sounds like a great book!

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