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I Choose to Be Happy: A School Shooting Survivor's Triumph Over Tragedy [Paperback]

Our Price $ 14.41  
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Item Number 423439  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.55" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.66"
Weight:   0.74 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2008
Age  11-15
ISBN  1880292319  
EAN  9781880292310  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The author describes her life after she was shot and paralyzed from the chest down during a prayer group in school in Paducah, Kentucky.

Publishers Description
Missy was one of 8 students in a prayer group who were shot by Michael Carneal on Dec. 1, 1997, in the lobby of Heath High School in Paducah, KY. Three girls were killed. Missy, a 15yearold sophomore at the time was paralyzed from the chest down. But Missy didn't see her disability as an end. Just hours after the tragedy, she forgave Carneal and took back her life. In the next decade, with no malice and a focus on her physical and mental rehabilitation, Missy would graduate from Heath, earn a bachelor's degree in social work from Murray State University, become a counselor for troubled youth, get married and give birth to a healthy son. Missy, now 26, has received numerous honors over the years for her determination and courage.

Buy I Choose to Be Happy: A School Shooting Survivor's Triumph Over Tragedy by Missy Jenkins & William Croyle from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781880292310 & 1880292319

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More About Missy Jenkins & William Croyle

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Missy is a counselor at a day treatment center and a public speaker. She resides in Murray, KY with her husband and son.

Missy Jenkins was born in 1981.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Courtesy of Teens Read Too  Sep 3, 2009
Missy Jenkins gets right to the heart of the matter...her life after being shot on December 1, 1997.

School shootings are occurring with more frequency rather than less as time goes by. But in 1997, Columbine hadn't happened yet. Virginia Tech hadn't happened yet. The only significant school shooting was at Pearl High School on October 1, 1997. Only two months after that date, Heath High School would be in the media forefront.

Missy Jenkins was one of a handful of students who were meeting in the high school lobby for a prayer circle prior to the start of classes that day. Michael Carneal walked into that lobby with a duffel bag full of ammunition and guns that he stole from a friend's house. He randomly started firing at the students in the lobby.

As the story is told, the reader is made aware that Missy feels lucky and thankful that she survived the shooting. Three young girls were killed, and Missy was the most injured of those that survived...she was paralyzed from the chest down.

I CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY is Missy's story after the shooting. It shares her amazing ability to forgive Michael and move on with her life. She recounts her struggles to overcome her disability and be the best person she can be in spite of it. She has complete faith in God and His plan for her following the shooting. Unsure of what she wanted to do prior to the shooting, Missy has a clear-cut plan to guide her after December 1. She is determined to be a counselor for troubled youth in hopes of preventing others to take actions such as Michael was compelled to take.

A straightforward account of her life after December 1, 1997, I CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY is a hopeful, encouraging novel of triumph over tragedy. Missy's courage and determination shine through on every page. Even those unfamiliar with the event will praise Missy's positive outlook on life. The world would be a much better place if everyone had the same view of things.

Reviewed by: Jaglvr
In December 1997, fifteen year old sophomore, Missy Jenkins, was just another high school student in Paducah, Kentucky. She had no idea that on that day life as she knew it would irrevocably change. Her path would cross that of fourteen year old Michael Carneal, who would enter the lobby of Heath High School armed and ready to shoot, just as Missy was joining a prayer circle. Missy would be one of eight students shot by Michael Carneal in an act of carnage that would stun the nation. She would also be one of the five who survived but at a price quite dear. Missy would be left a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down for the rest of her life.

Although the writing may be somewhat pedestrian, the story of Missy Jenkins is anything but that. While some people look at their glass as being half empty, Missy chose to interpret that same glass as being half full. Therein lies the difference. That is what makes the story of Missy Jenkins an inspirational one. She refused to let her tragedy end tragically. Instead, through hard work, perseverance, and faith she overcame insurmountable odds and made a great life for herself. She let nothing and no one stop her. In this no-holds-barred book, Missy lets the reader know how she was able to put her life back together. Her story is a true testament to the resilience of the human spirit.
Inspiring account by a true survivor  Mar 31, 2009
School shootings seem to be almost a fact of life these days, rampant as they are. Until a few years ago, it was the school shootings in the United States that made world news, especially the Columbine massacre, but recently, we hear of school shootings all over the world [the most recent being in Germany]. In "I Choose to Be Happy: A School Shooting Survivor's Triumph Over tragedy", readers are introduced to a survivor, Missy Jenkins who was only 15-years-old when her life changed irrevocably. On Dec 1, 1997, Missy was attending a prayer circle at school, when she was shot, amongst others, by 14-year-old Michael Carneal. The casualties were three dead and five injured, and Missy was the most seriously injured, suffering paralysis from the chest down.

This book is Missy's account of surviving that day, and of how she has not let adversity keep her from living a full and productive life. Missy describes how she had to learn to do things for herself, basic, simple day-to-day tasks that most of us don't give much thought to, but Missy had to relearn all over again. This young lady had and continues to display immense courage which I can only marvel at. But, she does not paint a purely rosy picture of her recovery, far from it - she admits to moments of despair and resentment. Despite her harrowing experience, Missy Jenkins has brought something positive out of her tragedy. Through the unwavering support of her family, friends, and faith, Missy has managed to graduate from college, become a public speaker and counselor for at-risk youth, as well as experience the joys of marriage and motherhood. Perhaps one the most insightful and poignant moments is her meeting with her shooter in jail years after the tragedy.

Missy's account is also filled with other important insights such as the very real phenomenon of bullying, which contributed to Michael Carneal's rampage. In her book, bullying, the factors contributing to it, and her insights into the topic are covered in one of the chapters.

Missy concludes her book with some thoughts for reflection. Missy comes across as a woman of faith, courage and motivation who has faced adversity head-on and her story makes for an inspiring and poignant read.

Powerful and poignant look at surviving tragedy  Mar 26, 2009
I Choose to be Happy by Missy Jenkins & William Croyle is the story of one of the survivors of the 1997 Paducah, Kentucky school shooting. Missy was just 15 years old and attending a prayer group in the lobby of Heath High School when 14 year old Michael Carneal fired a gun, killing three and wounding five, including her. Missy was immediately paralyzed from the waist down, unable to move as she watched good friends die next to her. Missy begins her story with the tragedy of that December morning, but then gives the reader a short version of her biography, as well as that ofCarneal , up to the tragedy. The story picks up again with Missy's arrival at the hospital and learning that she would probably never walk again. She captures certain moments perfectly giving the reader a clear idea of who she is as a person. I ached for her mother as she received the news that her daughter had been shot. The two had an argument the previous night and hadn't moved on from the anger. Can you imagine the fear she felt wondering if the last words she would say to her daughter were those of anger? There's a lesson in that and so much more for everyone in Missy's story. Before the end of the first 24 hours, Missy had accepted that being paralyzed was God's plan for her and she had forgivenCarneal. Both of these make her a rare human being, especially as a teenager. She says: I forgave him, and my future was enlarged. She fought through physical therapy to become as independent as possible and soon became the face of the tragedy to the nation, making appearances on Good Morning America and in People Magazine. Missy did not allow this to stop her from fulfilling her life's dreams. She is trying to prevent what happened to her from ever happening again by working as a counselor to troubled teens and giving talks all over the country. She is also married with a beautiful son. This was not an easy story for me to read. I have a 15 year old daughter of my own, and it was all too easy to imagine similar circumstances happening at her school. But it is a vitally important book for parents and students to read because Missy has so much to teach us about how to offer forgiveness, face tragedy, and overcome adversity all through relying on her faith.
Inspirational  Jan 12, 2009
December 1, 1997 started off as an ordinary school day for 15 year old Missy Jenkins, but that changed very quickly. While in a prayer circle at school, Missy was one of eight students shot by 14 year old Michael Carneal. Three students were killed and Missy was the most seriously hurt of the five injured - she was paralyzed from the chest down. "I Choose to be Happy: A School Shooting Survivor's Triumph over Tragedy" is Missy's account of the events of that day, her struggle for survival, her learning to deal with being paralyzed for the rest of her life, and her life since that day.

"I Choose to be Happy: A School Shooting Survivor's Triumph over Tragedy" is the riveting story of a young woman whose life changed in a split second and yet didn't let the tragedy bring her down. Missy doesn't waste any time - she describes the events of the shooting in the very first pages of the book. Her story is fascinating as she recounts not only her reaction, but the reaction of her twin sister, the teachers, other students and even the shooter himself. School shootings were not common in 1997 and the shocked reaction of all is very understandable. The book is full of pictures that make the events even more real to readers and the interrogation of Michael Carneal just two hours after the shooting is fascinating reading, as is Missy's meeting him in jail years later.

"I Choose to be Happy: A School Shooting Survivor's Triumph over Tragedy" is not just about the shooting but also about how Missy rebuilt her life in the aftermath. It is inspiring to read how she learned to dress herself, feed herself and get about after being paralyzed. She is very open about how difficult it was to learn these chores and she never makes herself out to be perfect and is honest about the times she rebelled. It is interesting to read how she was sustained not only by her family, but her religious faith, a faith that still helps her today. Missy has taken what life has given her and turned it into being a public speaker, a counselor for troubled teens, marriage, and motherhood. Here, too, she admits that she is not perfect and recounts her struggles in those areas and her concerns for the future.

"I Choose to be Happy: A School Shooting Survivor's Triumph over Tragedy" is the inspirational story of a young woman who refused to let tragedy ruin her life.

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