She Wrote A Book In 1972, It Was Rejected Over And Over. On Christmas, Her Grandson Surprised Her With Her Book

December 27, 2023

Today's good news story comes from Baltimore, Maryland.

This Christmas, the magic of the season unfolded in the heartwarming story of Barbara Rieco, a grandmother whose long-lost dream was unwrapped by her grandson, Chad Cooper, in an extraordinary holiday surprise.

Christmas gift published book surprise
Credit: @moosbehavin on TikTok

In 1972, Barbara Rieco penned a heartfelt children's book that held her dreams and aspirations within its pages. Despite her best efforts, the manuscript faced repeated rejection from publishers, leading her to eventually set aside her dreams of becoming a published author.

Little did she know that, decades later, her grandson would turn those dreams into reality.

Chad Cooper, a design and production professional based in New York City, decided to give his grandmother the ultimate Christmas gift – the publication of her cherished book. Visiting her in Baltimore for the holidays, he secretly took her original manuscript, along with the illustrations she had commissioned from an artist in Vietnam years ago, and transformed them into a beautifully printed book.

On Christmas morning, as Barbara unwrapped the carefully crafted gift, she was overcome with emotion as she realized the magnitude of the surprise.


grandma wrote this book in 1972 and never finished it so we published it for her!

♬ Hey Look Ma, I Made It - Panic! At The Disco

The moment, captured by Chad on TikTok, quickly resonated with viewers, and the video went viral.

"This is probably the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me in my entire life," Barbara says in the video. "In my entire life."

Chad's thoughtful gesture didn't just end with the surprise; he also included a link to the book on Amazon, making it available to the public.

The response was nothing short of miraculous – within days, Barbara's once-forgotten book skyrocketed to the top of Amazon's bestseller list, earning the coveted spot as a #1 best seller.

Chad filmed the reaction to that news for TikTok too.

@moosbehavin all of your comments have been even more special than finally finishing the book. She / we are all so incredibly overwhelmed with all of your heartwarming messages. Thank you to everyone for taking this little project to a #1 ♬ Hey Look Ma, I Made It - Panic! At The Disco

Barbara says she has been reading every single comment on TikTok and wants to respond to them all but there's thousands.

"TikTok is about to make me buy a kids book when I'm 21 and don't even have kids," said one user.

"So much was said in the silence. What a beautiful moment," another user commented.

As the world celebrates this unexpected Christmas miracle, Barbara Rieco's book, now embraced by a new generation of readers, continues to spread joy and inspiration, proving that sometimes the most extraordinary gifts are the ones we never knew we needed.

You can purchase the book on Amazon here.

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