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Forgotten Carols: A Christmas Story & Songbook (Book Only)
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Forgotten Carols: A Christmas Story & Songbook (Book Only)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  2,418 Ratings  ·  149 Reviews
For more than a decade, Michael McLean's "The Forgotten Carols" has entertained sold-out audiences around the country. This endearing story and beloved music have truly become a Christmas classic. The holiday tale of Uncle John and Connie Lou have touched the hearts of millions and taught all of us about the true meaning of Christmas.
Hardcover, 158 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Shadow Mountain (first published 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Amy
Sep 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely LOVE this story! I've listened to the music every year since it came out. I've read it a few times and seen the production by Micheal McLean (totally recommend that)! My mom and dad gave each of us kids a copy of our last year for our 12 Days of Christmas...so now I have my own to cherish!
Ashley
Dec 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Tradition for me. I have been super busy this year, but I finally read it today!



This is my favorite Christmas book. I started reading it every year when I was about 14. I would read it to my brothers, one chapter a night, and listen to the music as it came up in the book. We could never wait to start it- it usually ended up that we got one chapter ever two nights because we would start so early. I've been struggling a bit this Christmas season, wondering why I don't quite feel like it's Christma
...more
June
Feb 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christmas lovers
I love this book, and I love the story. The music is beautiful and definitely spirit filled.

Sometimes I think this is a story of beauty and the beast, except I'm not sure who is the beauty and who is the beast. I don't know if I should classify "Connie Sue" as a beast, or a beauty who doesn't know she is, or call Uncle John a crazy old coot, or a beauty in disguise.

Have loved this book and it's music since I first saw it years ago.
Tristi
Jul 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
I have seen this performed live -- incredible. I have to say, I've seen Michael McLean perform live twice, each time was at a critical juncture in my life, and each time, the Spirit touched me tremendously and gave the strength to keep moving forward. I thank Brother McLean for allowing himself to be an instrument in such a powerful way.
Elizabeth
I enjoyed this book. i gave it 3 stars instead of 4 because it was a little too contrived. I cried several times during the book but it felt like the book was written for that purpose rather than the tears being spontaneous.

Who is Uncle John anyway.
Amanda
Dec 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. Amazing. *sigh* such a GREAT Christmas story. It's become tradition for my dad to sing Joseph every Christmas eve while he plays guitar. Amazing songs, amazing story. Michael McLean did a spectacular job.
Delene
Oct 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
A beautiful story written to explain Miclael McLean's CD.

The story is about an aging man who has a nurse to come and stay with him. He then puts up a tree and explains about his ornaments. The nurse then learns what Christmas is about through his stories and songs.
Jessica
Feb 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a must read for everyone during the holiday season. I read through it very quickly and enjoyed every page.
Kursten
Dec 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
I love the beautiful and inspired songs that go along with this story and tie it all together. Songs and books like this help me to feel the Christmas spirit.
Karen
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Christmas tradition. The story never gets old and the songs come back to me all year long.
Katrina
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
especially love the CD
Anna Dye
Jan 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
If you like Christmas miracles that warm the heart, this book is for you. It is the story of a humorless, thoroughly efficient professional nurse whose life is cold and friendless. She gets assigned to visit a patient in his mansion for a short while, so the family can spend Christmas in Europe. She finds the nice looking man living in a fantasy world that rocks apart all she has spent her lifetime building to protect herself.
He speaks of forgotten carols and sings them to her. Each one is brou
...more
Rich
Jan 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christmas, music, lds
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Larsen
Dec 25, 2014 rated it liked it
For years this title has seemed to me to be another attempt to benefit commercially at Christmas time. This Christmas, when I thumbed through our stack of Christmas books, I read "About the Author" on the inside back flap of the dust jacket -- largely because the musical stage show of The Forgotten Carols has become so popular. What?!! Michael McLean "is the creator of the motion pictures Mr. Kruger's Christmas ... and Nora's Christmas Gift ... and coauthor of the allegorical oratorio The Garden ...more
Angie
Dec 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always like to read a Christmas book at this time of year, and since Deck the Halls by Mary Higgins Clark ended up having nothing to do with Christmas whatsoever, I grabbed this little gem from the shelf and read it on Christmas day. I was familiar with the story from having read a children's version and from seeing the musical production a number of years ago. I love the lyrics and music of the "forgotten" carols. I enjoyed the characters of Constance/Connie Lou and "Uncle John". The story ju ...more
Tessa
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: home
This one was difficult to rate because part of me really liked it and part of me really didn't like it. Most of the music is very moving, with one or two exceptions. The story line is good - original, creative - but the writing is only fair. The main character (Constance) is hard to sympathize with overall, I think - there wasn't enough time taken to develop any feeling for her so I really didn't care if she ended up redeemed or not. I did, of course, love Uncle John. The story was not very enga ...more
Arianne
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
This is a nice, feel-good story perfect for Christmas time. It deals with the emotions that many of us experience during the holiday season: love, hoping for love, feeling alone, etc. I feel like the author took too many liberties with historical figures and events in order to make his story appeal to his Christian (primarily Mormon) audience. That's something I don't like, and it's a trait I really don't like about this author in general, because he does this kind of thing in his songwriting as ...more
Kara
Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the original Forgotten Carols. It is actually our Christmas tradition to read it each year. Last year I attempted to read it to the kids, but they didn't understand a lot of it and it was just too long. We found this book last year at the after Christmas sales and so this was the first time reading it. I loved it. It has four of the original carols. The stories of those carols are the same as the original. The story itself is much shorter so it help the children's attention, but the messa ...more
CarolAnn
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Christmas in August? Well, it seemed a bit like it since I just finished reading a Christmas book. The reason is because it was one of the challenges for my Goodread's list. I've had the "Forgotten Carols" book (actually I have 2 copies) for years on the book shelves and have never read it. They were given to me and I never read them because they looked too sappy. Yes, it was a little sappy but I really enjoyed it. Next time, I'm going to have to find the music that accompanies the book and read ...more
Jennifer
This is a book I probably wouldn't have picked up, but my boss thought I would like it. I liked the story line and the news articles in the end. It makes you wonder how old this man or being was and how society has changed. The age of innocence has been lost. It is hard for people to trust there neighbors anymore. Everyone has their guard up all the time now. In ways this world is not getting better, but people must never lose hope, especially this time of year.
Debbie Williams
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas
A traditional Christmas story for our family. We not only have the book, the tape, the printed music, and the CD. We have gone to McLean's live play twice and enjoyed it every time. It reminds me of a Christmas version of Beauty and the Beast, where the senile, old man softens a crusty, Connie as he paints a picture of his memories of the first Christmas story. She is transformed and changes her attitude about Christmas and life in general. Loved it much!
Sheila
Nov 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this one aloud in the car on the way home from Colorado. It is a fun story and the kids seemed to enjoy it. It brought back memories of when Dave and I were dating and went together to see it performed while we were at BYU and of when I read it aloud during perhaps the scariest road trip I have ever been on when we drove to Pennsylvania with Doug and Christy through an ice storm on the way there and a blizzard on the way back.
Tessa
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-book
The music was lovely - Mclean delivers heart felt and even though he can get a touch sappy for me I still cried through most of these songs, especially the one about Joseph. The text was pretty good, though the story just seemed to end without a lot of resolution. We had the version illustrated by Brandon Dorman and those pictures were good - rich and soft.
Carianne
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
If I were to describe this book in two words, those words would be "incredibly" and "cheesy". I felt like it tried way too hard to tug at the heartstrings and make you *feel* something that it missed the mark. Also, what the heck was that ending??

Having said that, I LOVE the music and would definitely go see the stage production of this if I had the chance! I am sure I will read it again :)
Nancy
Dec 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the first time I have read this book. I have the cassette tapes with the music, which I have heard many times. I borrowed the video version from a friend last December. A few days ago I found parts of the play on youtube, and watched those, thus promoting me to read the book. This is a yearly story to hear.
Tara
Sep 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my all time favorite book to read especially during Christmas. I love the "change of heart" stories and that you can put yourself into the story. I look forward to future Christmases to re-read this fabulous story. I recommend it to all. Such simple and yet profound messages. I truly believe this is an inspired story. :)
Onaleigh Bryans
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So good!!! Very cute story line with a good end lesson learned.
Also the music that goes with it is very beautiful. I think it helps remind us what Christmas is really about.
The musical is very good too, I really enjoyed the romantic(?) relationship between Connie Lou and Mr. Halifax it's not overly strong but it is noticeable.
Stacey Raymond
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was one of the 1st books that inspired me with the idea of what I want to do with my life and talent. I never felt like Michael McLean ever quite found the sweet spot for the musical books, but he is the 1st that I found that tried it. The story isn't anything special for me. It is the idea of it... it is the inspiration it has given me that I liked the most.
Brenda n Ken
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
We are blessed to be able to sing in his live performances each year when it comes to SG. We love filling our home with the soundtrack to this wonderful story each Christmas season and love the humility of the characters and Michael himself.
Anna
Dec 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my Christmas favorites and I read it every year and enjoy the beautiful music. I identify with the characters and love the spirit of Christmas it brings to me. My kids have to start asking me, "Mom is this a crying story?" Yup.
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“In all my years on earth, I have seen time and time again that those who are the happiest are those who have the courage to follow their hearts - to believe what otherwise would be unbelievable; to seek the light; to find the truth.” 36 likes
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