Sunday, March 15, 2009

I Choose to be Happy by Missy Jenkins w/ William Croyle

A few months ago, I received a book to review. Because there was not a definitive date for a blog tour, I laid this book aside because I was overwhelmed with books that needed reviewed on schedule. Finally, my schedule has let up a bit (phew!), and I had time to pick this one up. Boy, am I glad I did!

I Choose to be Happy is the autobiography of Missy Jenkins, victim of one of the first school shootings publicized in America. Here is what Missy's website has to say about the book:

I Choose to be Happy

It was one of the darkest days in America’s history—December 1, 1997. Freshman Michael Carneal walked into the Heath High School lobby in West Paducah, Kentucky, and started shooting, killing three students and injuring five. One of those injured students was 15-year-old Missy Jenkins, who was left paralyzed from the chest down.

But Missy never saw her disability as an end. Just hours after the tragedy, she forgave Carneal and took back her life. In the next decade she would graduate from college, become a counselor for troubled youth, get married, have a baby, and confront Carneal face to face about his actions that tragic day.

She would earn countless local and national honors over the years, from “Kentuckian of the Year” to one of Ladies’ Home Journal’s “Most Fascinating Women.” This is a story of love, forgiveness, courage, and determination—one that will leave people of all ages inspired to make the most of each day and never take life for granted.

Wow! Throughout the reading of this book, I continued to be amazed by the strength and determination that Missy has shown. Never once, even while lying on the floor paralyzed with a bullet in her body, did Missy question God. She takes her circumstances in stride, and has actually found a way to use them for the glory of God. She has overcome so much - after the shooting, she went on to graduate from both high school and college, she has become a social worker who reaches out to teens in crisis and an advocate for school safety, etc, and she has gone on to get married and have a beautiful baby boy! Missy is an inspiration! I have already passed her book along to Ashley, and would definitely recommend it for any teen and adult who is looking for a good book to read!

Missy ~ if you're reading this, may God continue to bless you as you seek to serve Him! You are an inspiration to many. Thanks for your courage and for following God's leading in your life. You go, girl!

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