Contact: Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096

Monday, March 30, 2015

Just Two Days Until Debut of New ‘Dandelion Trail’ Novel That Continues Hallie’s Journey from the Hit Family Film ‘Summer Snow’

Book That Follows Central Character, Hallie, Will Be Shipped Wednesday from American Family Association Online Store

TUPELO, Miss.—In just two days, readers can catch up on the engaging and uplifting story of Hallie, the precocious little girl from the hit family film “Summer Snow.” Hallie’s journey is continuing through the new novel, “Dandelion Trail,” based on the heart-warming stories and loveable characters of the movie.

“Summer Snow,” released by American Family Studios, a division of American Family Association (AFA, has seen wonderful success since its theatrical debut last summer, its television premiere on UPTV in last August and its DVD release this past October.

And now, “Summer Snow’s” Hallie is the inspiration for a new novel, available through AFA.

Kendra White, one half of “Summer Snow’s” brother-sister co-writing and co-directing team, recently sat down with American Family Radio’s (AFR, John Riley, the host of “Afternoons with John Riley,” to talk about “Dandelion Trail” and how the book came about.

“My brother and I had just finished co-writing and directing AFA’s first feature film ‘Summer Snow,’” White recalled. “By this point, I had completely fallen in love with the character of Hallie Benson, the little 8-year-old star of the film played by the amazingly talented Rachel Eggleston. There was so much potential for future stories with this spunky, warm-hearted little girl that AFA began to discuss hiring a novelist to write a Hallie-based adventure story for young girls who wanted to be just like her.”

AFA and White partnered with Joy Lucius, a freelance writer for the AFA Journal.

“On top of being a passionate and talented writer,” White said, “Joy Lucius also worked at an elementary school and had an amazing gift with children—the demographic we wanted to reach. After sharing the screenplay and a rough cut of the film with Joy, we sat down to discuss the idea of her writing the novel. She was so intrigued by the character of Hallie and picked up on so many of the nuances in the script that I knew she was going to be a perfect fit for the book.”

Starring David Chisum, Cameron Goodman, Garrett Backstrom, Brett Rice and Rachel Eggleston, “Summer Snow” tells the story of 8-year-old Hallie Benson (Eggleston), a small girl with a very big heart. Whether baking cookies for a grumpy neighbor or selling toothbrushes to help a friend, Hallie always thinks of others. Unfortunately, her “creative” ways of helping people often leave her father, Dan (Chisum), with a mess to clean up. Dan struggles to keep it all together after his wife’s death. He doesn’t cook, do hair or know how to help his three children without his beautiful wife and her unshakeable faith in God.

For the book, Lucius created a significant amount of new content beyond the stories “Summer Snow” touches upon.

Without offering too many spoilers for those who haven’t yet seen “Summer Snow,” “Dandelion Trail” begins right before the climax of the film, when Hallie sees herself in Nicaragua in the 1970s during the time that her mother was growing up as a missionary’s daughter.

“She goes on many journeys and learns that no matter where you are and no matter how bad things seem, God is always there and He wants you to spread His love to the entire world,” White said of the book, which she hopes “challenges girls to completely surrender their lives to Jesus and push outside their comfort zones to reach people with the love of God.”

White added that some other story lines in “Summer Snow” are also revisited, and some questions that linger in the movie are answered in the book.

Joy Lucius is first and foremost a reader—then a writer. So, it is no wonder that she teaches reading at Shannon Elementary School, close to her home in Tupelo, Miss. Lucius began her professional writing career as a freelance journalist for the AFA Journal, taking her love of reading in a whole new direction.

“Dandelion Trail” is available for pre-order now online at the AFA Store and will be shipped to buyers on Wednesday.

“Summer Snow” has been named to the top spot in Christian Film Database’s list of favorite Christian films of 2014. Christian Film Database reviews numerous Christian films and selected “Summer Snow” over many other great contenders.

In July, “Summer Snow” made its theatrical debut in Tupelo, Miss., where AFA is headquartered, and Lexington, Ky., where the movie was filmed. Then in August, “Summer Snow’s” successful television debut on UPTV set network records, becoming the second-most-popular movie in the history of the network and also the No. 1 movie premiere in 2014 among women ages 25-54. The film was also released on DVD in October.

The movie has been called “inspiring,” “exceptional,” “amazing” and “uplifting” and provides a wonderful opportunity for families, Bible studies and small groups to gather and discuss issues of family and faith.

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AFA offers its friends and supporters several mobile apps through The AFA Action Alerts app, with breaking news and action alerts, is available for the iPhone and iPad on the Apple App Store, on Google Play and on the Amazon Appstore for Android. The AFR (American Family Radio) app is available for Apple and Android products, and the AFA Action app with, for example, voter information at election time, is available on Apple and Android platforms.

For more information on American Family Association, visit


To interview a representative from American Family Association, contact Deborah Hamilton at, 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096.

American Family Association (AFA) a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization was founded in 1977 by Donald E. Wildmon, who was pastoring First United Methodist Church in Southaven, Mississippi, at the time. Since 1977, AFA has been on the frontlines of America’s culture war. The original name of the ministry was National Federation for Decency but was changed to American Family Association in 1988. Today, AFA is one of the largest and most effective pro-family organizations in the country with more than one million online supporters and approximately 180,000 paid subscribers to the AFA Journal, the ministry’s monthly magazine. In addition, AFA owns and operates nearly 200 radio stations across the country under the American Family Radio banner.

Other divisions of AFA include American Family Radio, the AFA Foundation and, an online news provider that is syndicated around the world. AFA maintains activist web sites such as that rally Christian activists to contact companies asking them to drop their advertising from objectionable TV shows. AFA websites average over 6 million unique visitors and 44 million hits per year. AFA uses all these means to communicate an outspoken, resolute, Christian voice throughout America.