Jess Hagemann's "Notes from a Distinguished Life"

Jess Hagemann is an Austin-based ghostwriter and award-winning author. Her company Cider Spoon Stories helps people write fiction and nonfiction books. The newest Cider Spoon book, titled Notes from a Distinguished Life, is a DIY guide to family history for kids ages 8-22. 

Notes from a Distinguished Life is a 70-page, full-color, 100% interactive guide for kids to interview their family members. Each page of the book was originally hand-collaged, painted, and designed with an eye toward bright colors and maximum student engagement. Each page also has one or more questions, prompts, or activities to stimulate critical thinking and meaningful discussion. It’s a book meant for families who want to ‘ghostwrite’ their loved one’s stories themselves.

No one underestimates the power of story. As children, we came to know firsthand the special ability that stories have to transport the imagination. Foreign lands, exotic creatures, long-gone worlds, and far-distant futures unspool in the mind’s eye when we hear about them. They are, in some sense, made real. What people too often underestimate is the amount of time left to tell stories, and to listen to them. If I had a dime for every person who’s said, “I wish we’d hired you when Mom was still alive …” It doesn’t have to be that way. You and your kids can capture the stories now; can craft a legacy that your loved ones feel proud to leave behind!

Click here for more information on the book.