Dear Mr. Stovall,  


I was happy to read to your book, The Ultimate Gift, because it was very well-written. The style was different from books I usually read. I understood what the book was saying and learned from it. The book gave me important things I should learn throughout life. Maybe a lot of other people learned about the significant factors of life from your book. They might care about things other than themselves. People forget important things and end up not caring about anything. They become miserable and don’t give thanks for anything that they have.  


I thought the Gift of Gratitude had a lot of meaning, even if it was not my favorite.  I do not give thanks to many things like my parents or my friends. I probably give more thanks to strangers or people I don’t talk to than the people I love.  A lot of the things I have are things that some people cannot afford.


My favorite gift was the Gift of Dreaming. It allows me to think about what I want and how to do it or get it. There are a lot of things I want and I will try to show gratitude to help people that help me pursue my dream.         


The Ultimate Gift makes me think about a lot of things in life like what helps me. You did a good job writing it and hopefully your new book will be as great as this one. Thanks for the lessons you’ve taught me and good luck on writing.                 


In the Gift of laughter, you had a character that was blind. Was he based off of you?





Dear Mr. Stovall,          


I would first like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to let us interview you.  When I heard that we would be reading The Ultimate Gift I thought, another boring book. Then we started reading the book and I realized that it wasn’t boring at all. It was actually very interesting. The one thing I liked most about the book was that some of the gifts were able to relate to certain things in my life that I have previously experienced.   


My favorite gift was the Gift of Friends. This is because friends are one of the most important things that you need to have. They are always there to help you and back you up in situations. Also you can find out who your true friends really are. I think that it was also one of the more valuable gifts because it was one that had a lot of importance to it. I also cannot wait until I get to see the movie “The Ultimate Gift”. I thought that the book was great and I’m sure that the movie will be just as good.                                                 





 In The Ultimate Gift my favorite gift of all was the Gift of Giving. I loved the way you made Jason go from a very spoiled-rich disrespectful young boy to a very nice, generous young man. I think that you made Red Stevens a very special great-uncle to actually take time and put Jason in his will. It feels like Red Stevens wanted Jason to go through a twelve month journey to open his eyes to the ways of life. This gift should be very special to everyone because I think it is very important that people understand it is better to give than to receive.


When I read the title I thought the book was going to be about someone getting the best gift ever. Someone did get the best gift ever but not the gift I was thinking about. I was thinking it was something like a birthday gift, but the gifts you wrote about were better than any birthday gift.  I would like to thank you for answering my classmates questions. The reason we asked those questions is because we really wanted to get to know you and we wanted to know who or what inspired you to write this wonderful book. You should continue to write more books. I can’t wait to see your movie.  




Dear Mr. Stovall, 


I’m writing you this letter to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your book. I think that your book was a very educational book that helped ordinary people like you and I with everyday problems. I also think it improved the attitudes that people have toward life. For example, on the first day of Jason’s one month journey at Gus Cadwell’s ranch he entered with a lazy, good-for-nothing little boy attitude, but left out as a brand-new man. I believe that if you put your mind to something, (along with the right attitude) you can accomplish anything.


As for your book, I really enjoyed reading it. But my two favorite gifts were the Gift of Laughter and the Gift of Work. The Gift of Laughter is one of my favorite gifts because as he went throughout his gift he found out that a little bit of laughter is good for everybody, and that just because life is treating you bad to keep a good out-look on life anyway. And in my opinion I believe that everyone and anyone could learn from his experiences. The Gift of Work was my other favorite gift because during Jason’s time on the ranch, he really didn’t want to work at all but found out that it’s not so bad once your job is done. And actually I do the same thing when it comes down to washing dishes, cleaning my room, and walking my dog. But after it’s all done I see that it wasn’t all that bad after all. So all of your gifts can be life-changing to some people in some way or another.


Sincerely yours,





Dear Mr. Stovall, 


I loved your book “The Ultimate Gift”. It was a very fascinating and intriguing story. I learned a lot of life lessons in your story. I like how you put Jason through all of the tasks and things he had to do. This book was filled with surprises and suspense.      

My favorite gift was the Gift of Learning. It showed that people will travel miles to have a chance to learn. A lot of children today take education for granted. I also liked the Gift of Giving. Giving things to people who need them more is a really great gift. Jason learned that he could help people with his stuff.       


I also liked the Gift of Family. Family is one of the most important things in life. No one person can be a family. It takes people who love each other to make a family. 





Dear Mr. Stovall, 


Hello. Are you feeling well? I hope so. But either way, I’m writing to you because I wanted to say thank you for having my class (including me) participate in learning about your novel, The Ultimate Gift. It was such a wonderful experience and I have truly learned a lot from it. If your first story of the series was this fascinating, I can’t imagine how well the sequels will turn out! However, despite the interview that we were part of, there are still a few more things that I want to mention. 


First of which, I would like to reveal to you that my favorite gift out of all twelve is the Gift of Love. I say this because I also believe that there is so much hatred in so many people today (too much through my vision!) It just seems that love is the ONLY factor in this world that keeps us all in balance. I, myself, feel completely thankful that I am loved by others, and I hope that one day that everyone else feels the same way for others too. Other than that, I think that all of the other gifts have their importance as well. 


Before I go, I would like to mention one more opinion about your novel. I believe that life itself has no purpose unless it is expressed in a way that people can understand it on their own. If this is the case, your novel would be the perfect way to understand the true aspects of life. Thus, this is why I say thank you for making me a part of this experience. Until next time, Mr. Stovall, good luck in the future and, once again, thank you for everything! 





Dear Mr. Stovall, 


I thought your book was great. I liked how you showed the journey of a spoiled brat, into a person that knows what work is and knows what’s important in life. Too many people these days forget what’s important, and don’t really enjoy life. But by reading this book, maybe people will realize what they really care about, and they will change. I also like the different gifts you came up with in the book. I think my favorite was the Gift of Problems. Problems don’t come across people as gifts, or anything good most of the time. But like you pointed out, they are. Without problems, our lives wouldn’t be tough, and they help make us stronger. Problems make our lives more exciting too, without problems, wouldn’t be living life to its fullest. Like Jason. 


The Gift of Dreams was not my favorite one, but it was very important to me. Without dreams our lives would be meaningless, we wouldn’t have anything to live up to, or to look forward to. I like how you mentioned Walt Disney, because he was a living example of how dreams can live on, even if you don’t. Walt Disney also showed me how we should all have dreams that we can carry on through our entire lives. So all in all, I think everyone should read this book, it’s got life lessons, and it’s nicely written.                                         






P.S. in the interview you did recently with five schools or so, you mentioned that you wrote The Ultimate Gift in five days. I think that’s amazing.

Dear Mr. Stovall,


       First I would like to thank you for your time on Thursday March 22, 2007. When reading your book for the first time I did not believe it would teach me anything, but as I read further into it, I realized that it taught me a lot. For instance the Gift of a Day, I learned that there are many things you can do in the last day of you life but the best thing to do is to spend it with the people who care about you the most. Your perspective on that gift was simply moving. The way you explained it was like you had actually been in that situation and you understand how important family is to people who don’t really have that much moral support like Jason.

The next gift I thought was moving was the Gift of Love. This gift was especially important to me because I have had many past experiences with people who mistreat other people because there was no longer love in the relationship. I learned that you can not have any type of relationship without any type of love. Love comes in many shapes, sizes, and figures. There is no way for myself or other people to ever have any reason to show resentment to anyone just because we do not “love” them in our minds. It took me a long time to realize that hatred is no way to present your self to other people and the more you present yourself in that form the less people like you.

There are many gifts that need to be learned in life and the faster we learn them the better off we are bound to be. No matter how many things we think we know, we actually don’t know anything about, and when people figure that out it scares them and they don’t formally know how to process it. The conclusion to your story is most intriguing and I really wonder how that change affected the main character when he had no idea that he would be receiving that amount of money.

In conclusion to my response to your book, The Ultimate Gift, I would like to say that I was pleased with the results of what became of Jason. I hope I can expect more lessons to be learned from your writings.



Dear Mr.Stovall,    

   I really love your book The Ultimate Gift.  It was very inspiring, it told about a man’s selfishness to giving to those that needed it.  The gift that was the biggest impact on my life was the Gift of Family.  To me, family is very important because if you didn’t have it, you would be lost without it! For example, if you were in a situation that you didn’t know how to get out of and your friends couldn’t help, the first place you would want to go to would be your family.  Family is there for you no matter what, even if it’s a crazy situation about nothing.  I love my family and friends so I would do anything for them, just because I know they will do the same for me! To me that’s the gift I believe that made the biggest impact on my life.                              

The interview was very educational, from the fact that you answered everyone’s questions, even if they were personal! You made me realize that even though someone has a bad attitude, that the same person could be very kind and generous to others.  From the interview I learned a lot.  Thank you, I appreciate your time spent with us answering our questions.                                                                                         


Dear Mr. Stovall, 


Hello, how are you? I just wanted to let you know how fascinating your story, The Ultimate Gift, was. It was a very good story to get to recognize all the gifts. It was wonderful to see how many of the gifts meant a lot to Jason, and how it changed him. I also liked how you put the right gifts into the story to make Jason realize what these gifts really meant. I was amazed how Jason changed at the end of the book.         


My favorite gift in the whole book was the Gift of Friendship because you have to have friends for support and confident. Friends help you with lots of things. They help you learn how to get out of bad situations and help you learn how to solve problems. You need friends to survive in the world too! If you don’t have friends to help you with things you would be lonely and I don’t think that anyone wants to be lonely. My second favorite gift is the Gift of Gratitude because it is important to give things to people. It is better to give things to people than to receive. When you give money or gifts to someone it makes you feel happy or glad inside. Well I hope you are progressing well, and thank you for the amazing experience with The Ultimate Gift! 





Dear Mr. Stovall, 


I enjoyed reading your book. It taught me some valuable lessons about life. I liked how you had Jason start off as a mean selfish person and turned out to be a well mannered young man. I also liked the way he had to learn the gifts by having to experience real life problems that people face everyday.  


Some valuable lessons I learned from your book were from the Gift of Work. I learned that a good day’s work can teach you a lot about responsibility. It reminded me a lot about myself. Another gift that taught me a valuable lesson was the Gift of Laughter. The Gift of Laughter taught me that no matter what bad things may occur you should have a positive outlook on things.         


Thank you for writing these and other wonderful gifts. They are really life changing.                                                 





P.S. Hope to read more of your books.                                                                                                        

 Dear Mr. Stovall, 

I really enjoyed reading The Ultimate Gift. It was very interesting to me and understanding. I had gotten to see other perspectives and how other people have reached their goals. I really liked the Gift of Friendship because now I really know who I can trust and who my true friends are. I had learned, and heard, that I am not the only person who has problems with their friends.


The other gift that I had liked was The Gift of Family because I had seen that not all families are rich, poor or perfect. I had learned a lot from this book and I didn’t think that I was going to like it but I did. I hope that the movie is as good as the book. This is the gift that I was interested in the most. One more gift that I liked was The Gift of Love because you should love everybody and if you get into a fight then you should still love one another. I love my friends and family but we all get into fights. After a few hours or days or minutes I start to go back and apologize to them because I miss not being able to talk to them.        

p.s Thank you for taking your time to interview with us.  Thank you and I want to see the movie The Ultimate Gift.





Dear Mr. Stovall,


 I would like to tell you how much I enjoyed “The Ultimate Gift”. It is a good story of how one person can go through something and turns out as something total different from what the they started from.

 I enjoyed the Gift of Love and the Gift of Family. I enjoyed Love because it is a key thing to getting along with family and friends. It is something I hold close when dealing with my family and friends. I also enjoyed the gift of Family because in a time of need your family is always there to care and help you through. I have had many problems in my not so old life that my family has helped me with. I have made a few close friends, two in which I would like to have as my sisters. They are so much fun to be with! We got close and then something got between us, such as a boy or another friend or rumors and we were not so close anymore. We still talk but not as much as we did. I still would like us to be close.


            Well thank you for your time Mr. Stovall. I have enjoyed your book and I look forward to seeing the movie and reading more of your work.



Sincerely yours,




Dear Mr. Stovall, 


I really enjoyed your book “The Ultimate Gift”. To be honest it really inspired me to think about my true goals in life. Reading your book helped me understand why life is so important. And why being selfish is not a good thing.  The gift that impacted me the most was the gift of hard work. That was something I had never really had to do. I was pretty much catered to my whole life but hard work can teach you many things such as discipline. I was never really disciplined either but reading this book taught me nothing's as bad as it seems. 


The gift I thought was the closest to reality was The Gift of Problems. I say this because everyone has problems. There really wouldn’t be a life without problems. Even in books there is some sort of main problem. If a book didn’t have a problem it wouldn’t be a good book. I felt you expressed the problem with Jason clearly throughout the story. Another thing that caught me was your wordplay. It interested me that the story was told from the lawyers point of view instead of Jason, however it really kept the story interesting. So in conclusion, I really enjoyed reading your book it kept me both informed and interested. I would love to see the movie…                                                 


Dear Mr. Stovall, 

I found your book the Ultimate Gift to be very intriguing. This book was a very good example of what I think people should use as they go through life. My favorite gift of all was the Gift of Giving because of the fact that Jason showed his compassion for others by finding something to give, even though he thought he had nothing. I think that is a very good quality for someone to have.


 I think the gift that relates to me is the Gift of Friendship because I used to be so mean and cruel to people who only wanted to be my friend, but now I think I’m better at letting people in. Before I read this book I never thought about the rich people as unhappy or depressed, but they are so caught up in their snobbish ways that they can’t help but be that way because that is the way they have been brought up.



Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us. We really appreciate you telling us about your history and how the book affected you. You answered a lot of questions I had about the book. I can’t wait to read more of your books. On behalf of Ms. Burnett’s class thank you.                            



In the beginning Jason was a cocky little boy and now he has twelve ultimate gifts that will help him through his life plus a trust fund to help all of his uncles businesses.



                                                               Bailey Morton

                                                       Maricopa Wells Middle School

The gift of dreams was really interesting.Jason showed me that when you wake up in the morning, it's a good idea to list in your mind all the things you should be thankful for.I think that if everyone had a golden list then the world would be some what of a better place.

            Sayah B. Maricopa Wells


         The chapter the gift of day made me think... I would not know what to do on the last day of my life. Most days are very chaotic, filled with drama, or very fun.  If it was my last day to live I would most likely want to do a bunch of simple things like Jason did. Mostly hang out with my good friends. I would wake up very early in the morning and try to make the day last as long as I could make it last. I would probably think in the beginning to go sky diving or something very extreme, but then again i would want to be with my  friends one last time. I really don`t know what to do with my last day of life, but most likely it would be the simplest things.
                                                                      ~ Coral ~


              I think that chapter 14, the Gift of love was very good beacsuse i think that love is a very big part of life . I think that love is included everything and everyone even if you dont realize it. I think that Jason has learned the meaning of love a what the effect it has on people. I think in order to live that you have to love because it shows what you feel and  who you are as an person. I think that jason came along way and is finally showing some emotions.


Chapter 8

I think that family is verry important. I also belive that ther is no stronger bond then the one a family can have. 

Chapter 8

I think that family is verry important. I also belive that ther is no stronger bond then the one a family can have. 

Chapter 14-

The chapter that I enjoyed most was chapter 14 because it was about love. I believe that love is one of the most important elements of life. I was amazed by how Jason was so honest about how he felt in the beginning of his journey to recieve The Ultimate Gift that his great uncle planned for him. Jason said that, " loving money leads to a hollow, empty existence." I believe that he is right because money is not the most important thing in life, to me. 


Chapter 15-

The Ultimate gift was amazing! I cannot believe that Jason is in charge of all his great uncle's projects. Jason is in control of Red Stevens' charitable trust fund which supports The Red Stevens Home for Boys, The Red Stevens Library Program, and many other programs. I was stunned that Jason knew what his great uncle wanted him to do.

Laura H.

     Wow this was a great book. Jason learned a lot and he took a 360 by the end, because at the begging he was a BIG jerk. I guess Jason learned his lesson. I can think of a few people who need to read this book because they need an attitude change.


Dear Jim Stovall,

     I absolutly loved the last seven chapters of your book, The Ultimate Gift.  I especially enjoyed the chapter about the gift of love.  I personally believe that love above all else is the most important thing in love, and is something to be cherished dearly.  I loved how you tied love together with all of the other gifts.  Also how you described love as a treasure that can't be fully appresheated until given away. 


Madeline Davis

On the last day of my life I would get a car and try to travel the world. I would go as far as possible. Meeting new people along the way learning their way of life. I hope to see a mountain lion before I go to heaven. I liked this chapter a lot.
The gift of love Love is a special gift because you can go places with your family.  If they take you to your favorite place, that is love. So is it, if they read you a bed time story. When your parents stay with you in your room when it storming, that is love.  This is why love is a great gift. C3


If I had the gift of a day, I would play with my friends and my dog Sandi. I would also play club penguin and my Nintendo Wii. I would play super smash brothers brawl on my Nintendo Wii.  by c14

There are many lessons that you can learn from the gift of a day.  But the most important is that it doesn’t have to be your last day of life to do what you want to do. If you think about, what would you do on your last day? Would you go climb a mountain, or would you visit your friends? I don’t know about you, but I would visit my friends. You can do everything that you would like to do any day, and not just on your last day.


The gift of dreams is a chapter I like this because you get to do anything in your dreams.  Sometimes in your dreams it sort of what’s going to happen in the future, good or bad.  Sometimes it let’s you know. I also like dreams because in your dreams you can get away from school and other things to relax and have fun and do what you want; it’s your world.  C5 

        The gift of day, I felt was a great chapter. I think Jason was so unselfish that he chose simple things to do. That is why I love that chapter.                C16
The Gift of a day            The gift of a day is a great gift because if someone had a day to live they I would do anything to make that day a special day. If I had one day to live, I would want to go to the beach with my family, go out for dinner, shopping would be nice, and maybe even a movie. I would not want to go and do all those crazy things like go to Disney or Hawaii. I would keep my day very simple and enjoy hanging out with family and friends.     Student C9
The Gift of a day            The gift of a day is a great gift because if someone had a day to live they I would do anything to make that day a special day. If I had one day to live, I would want to go to the beach with my family, go out for dinner, shopping would be nice, and maybe even a movie. I would not want to go and do all those crazy things like go to Disney or Hawaii. I would keep my day very simple and enjoy hanging out with family and friends.     Student C9
                        The Ultimate Gift I chose the gift of a day. I think Red Stevens was right when he said that your last day on the Earth, you would spend the day doing something you could do any day. I would too. I think that I would spend my last day visiting the zoo. Also I would spend time with friends and family. And to top off my day I would go to Antarctica and go penguin sledding with penguins.  By Laptop C27


GIVINGThis just reminds me of giving my game boy to my sister and letting her have something to do I also gave a lot of stuff to my friends and I share candy when I get some on Christmas and sometimes I give money to someone who needs it real bad! That is why this chapter was meaningful to me. C4
The Gift of a Day. A simple day can change your life. If you had only one day left you would do anything you always wanted to do. If I had only one day left I would do everything I’ve ever wanted to do. Even if I was scared. Jason had a very good list of things he would do. Hey why not just act like it was your last day every day.                                                        Student C25
The Gift of laughterBy: Student C11  It would be hard to live without laughter. If there was no laughter, there would be no fun. But sometimes laughter can get really annoying. Trust me; I know this for a fact! Sometimes when someone else laughs you will laugh with them because you think it is very funny!       That’s why I chose this chapter.

            The Gift of Giving, to me, was another important gift for Jason to learn. At first, Jason thought he didn’t have anything to give, but in time he realized he did. Even if you just give your time to do something; it’s still giving. People sometimes show ways of giving and they don’t even know it. I also think that a person who is less fortunate than most people really appreciate when they receive something that was given to them. Also, I think people who give things feel happy to know they did something to make someone else’s day a lot better.  


March 5, 2007


The Ultimate Gift Writing Project

Dear Jim Stovall,

 As I was contemplating what gift I would choose for writing assignment 2, I thought about which of the gifts was most relevant in my life at this point in time.  Being a high school senior, I am faced with many decisions about my future.  One of those is my career goal.  So, I chose the Gift of Dreams. 

 Music has always been my number one passion.  Often times, I have been very upset about the fact that I may not get to pursue my love for music as a band director because the paycheck would be so minimal.  However, very recently, I have been exposed to a potential outlet for my passion – one that may not be as low-paying as the other. 

 You see, my dream of being a music educator has transformed itself into my desire to become a collegiate band director.  For the first time, I have seriously been considering my dream.  I see signs that this is what the Lord has planned for me – one of these signs being The Gift of Dreams chapter in your book.  Some others include possible large scholarships from the Baylor School of Music, and my recent acquaintances that are on the faculty at Baylor. 

 As I have done so far in my life, I have not let my dreams stop.  Per Red’s advice to Jason, I will keep dreaming, and I will continue to let my dreams transform. 



The Ultimate Gift

Work can be hard sometimes. Work might be worth it. Sometimes work can be fun. In jobs you have to work a lot or not a lot. Jason found this out.

  Student C24 
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