The book was recently released at the West Virginia Readers Conference at The Greenbrier Resort at White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. It has been nominated for the 2014 Mom's Choice Award
Wilson is an award-winning singer, songwriter, and teacher. She enjoys presenting her songs for early learning to teachers and other professionals in educational conferences across the nation. After earning a master’s degree in reading, she turned to writing stories for children and families that remind us of our heritage.
The author is married to former Clevelander J. Derek Wilson, a 1981 graduate of Cleveland High School. With 30 years of pastoral ministry, he is the former senior pastor of Faith Memorial Church and now serves as a church growth consultant and evangelist.
Mrs. Wilson has a bachelor of science degree in education, preschool special needs and early education from Concord University. She received her master’s of education degree in elementary curriculum and instruction from Coppin State University and her master certification in reading from Marshall University. She is trained in educational technology and has been an educator, teacher and education interventionist for 19 years. When not teaching, she can be found traveling with her husband. Her greatest desire, she says, is to allow God to use her in every aspect of her life.
“Dori's Gift” is a children's Christian book, Wilson explains. “Open ‘Dori’s Gift’ and experience a journey back to a time where life in the mountains was filled with family, work and time to enjoy life.” It is a story that shows the reader a
glimpse of the history and tradition of the region with ties to the Scots-Irish settlers.
Dori experiences an unforgettable birthday as she receives a special gift, but her greatest gift cannot be held in her hand, for it is a gift from God that flows through the generations.
Author Wilson comes from a long line of Appalachian ancestors, and often listened to stories from and about her grandparents and their family. She realized they faced many hardships, yet each had a happy childhood with fond memories of strong family bonds. Her series, “Appalachian Heritage,” is a collection of stories that brings the region to life as the reader travels back to a different time, an era where everyone did his or her part in the family as life offered many simple joys. It is her wish this story will open the door for further exploration of the Appalachian region, as it is a compelling part of the rich history of our nation.
The Appalachian Mountains are filled with a colorful culture of arts and crafts that demonstrate the talent and perseverance of a strong people. They are prone to be self sufficient and take pride in their creations; from basket-weaving, quilting, pottery, and furniture-making, to crafting instruments that liven up their ballads and hymns.
These proved to be key to their survival as a people. One such instrument is the dulcimer, which is common in Appalachia. Its origin can be traced back to the Bible; in fact, some people say that in many regions, the mountain people would only use instruments that are in the Bible, which explains why the dulcimer was so widely accepted. The dulcimer was very inexpensive to make and became popular for that reason as well.
The Appalachian home was filled with music and singing, and many of the ballads held ties to their Scots-Irish roots. Most of the old songs were not written down, but were orally passed from one generation to the next. The women would often sing while they worked. The children grew to love the hymns and ballads and passed them on to the next generation.
Many of the old Irish songs told of lords and ladies from their homeland far away. Some of the songs changed through the years and places in Ireland were changed to local towns. One example is the song “Barbara Allen,” which has been rewritten many times to include places in Appalachia.
Appalachian people were hardworking and self-reliant. They farmed the rugged terrain, and through hard labor produced crops. There wasn’t much that came easy to them, so their possessions were cherished and they thanked God for His provision and for meeting their needs. Appalachians worked from dawn to dusk, but found time to enjoy life as well. Neighbors would join together to share such tasks as making molasses or apple butter, killing hogs, shelling beans and husking corn. These events would finish with a big dinner that the host family provided and usually would come to an end with singing and storytelling.
“Appalachia” is a word that often evokes images of sullen, depressing lives. The region is full of rural areas prone to poverty, and thus it is often painted as a picture of hopelessness. Rugged mountain ranges have isolated the people and formed barriers to the modernization of society. There are some parts of the region where the remoteness held traditions for many years from Ireland, Scotland, England and Germany ― everything from songs, home remedies and crafts to unique words and phrases in their language. These traditions were carried into the mountains by the settlers and remained there, untainted from the changing world.
“‘Dori’s Gift’” is a sweet and personal story that will touch the heart of anyone who cherishes family memories,” said one reader, Don Reid of the Statler Brothers. “Angie Wilson is in tune with all that is good and right as we look back on those special moments of our childhoods.”
Barbara Taylor Woodall, veteran contributing author to the Foxfire books, says, “Angie Wilson kindles fond memories of an age gone by in her Appalachian Mountains. Each page is heartwarming, like warm honey poured over the buds of my mind. This book is a keeper — like Dori's special birthday gift. It is a wonderful book to treasure and can be opened many times. Don't miss this one. Excellent read.”