The Wooden Bell
(A Christmas Story)
By Francis Eugene Wood
Illustrated by Deborah McClintock
"For the radio audience within the listening area of Farmville, Virginia's WFLO, Francis Wood is a smiling, pleasant-sounding-but disembodied-voice. His deeply moving Christmas story, The Wooden Bell, now illuminates the man behind the voice, a storyteller of sensitive genius and rare human understanding, clearly a man who loves and is loved by children. Sit by your glowing fireplace on a snowy evening this Christmas and read Francis' story aloud to your own children. It sings of the silent secret of Christmas, a mystery they will understand far better than you or I, although they may wonder at the tear coursing down your cheek."
Samuel Vaughan Wilson, President, Hampden-Sydney College; Lieutenant General, US Army-Retired; author
"I lived this story. I have been in the store. I met the lady who owns the store a long time ago. It evoked precious memories to meet her again. The Wooden Bell is a total delight from beginning to end!"
Jim Kincaid, WVEC-TV News Anchor (retired); author
"The Wooden Bell is a perfect Christmas story. It encourages us to hear beyond what is painfully obvious in the surrounding world. It urges us to listen, instead, to that special note that carols musically inside each of us between all Christmases, incessantly and regardless of how well we can sing, and without which our collective hallelujah chorus would be one essential note short. The story affirms us all. It tolls the passing of disbelief."
Ken Woodley, editor, The Farmville (Virginia) Herald; author
"The Wooden Bell Rings True!"
The Farmville (Virginia) Herald, 1996, front-page headline
"I was especially touched by this book, and shed a tear, which I'm not often prone to do. If you haven't read it, you need to. It's written from the heart and sends a wonderful Christmas message."
Mrs. Judith K. Poole, Principal, Prince Edward County Middle School (in a letter to the editor of The Farmville (Virginia) Herald, December 11, 1996)
"I have read it twice and each time I had to stop and wipe the moisture from my eyes so I could read the words. If you have missed this story, you have missed out on a very special book. Thank you, Francis, for writing it."
Ralph and Annette Perkins (in a letter to the editor of The Farmville (Virginia) Herald, December 11, 1996)
About the story:
The story focuses on Shingle, a learning impaired and nearly deaf child, who uses his wooden bell to treat his community to the joyous magic in their hearts during a Christmas play. The touching story is told to the writer by an old woman he meets while browsing through an antique store in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Note from the author:
"The Wooden Bell" is truly a special story of love, faith and just a little magic. I am very thankful that it came through me. I dedicated it to my youngest son, Daniel, and just like him the story has a unique way of touching hearts. It started out as an offering to our community with a printing of 500 copies. In 30 days The Wooden Bell (A Christmas Story) went through another two printings and sold over 1,600 copies in December of 1996. It was quite a phenomenal success and is now in its third printing.