Kaitlin Roig-Debellis is the first-grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School who saved her entire class of fifteen six- and-seven-year-olds from the tragic events that took place on December 14, 2012, by piling them into a tiny bathroom within her classroom, mere feet from the brutal massacre taking place outside the door.
Choosing Hope is many things. A written witness to a tragedy that will never be forgotten. A gripping firsthand testament to the power of good over the power of destruction. An inspirational memoir by a brave young woman whose story is one of courage, heroism, faith, and resilience. And a celebration of all the people who make the choice to pass along their hope and positivity to young ones-parents, mentors, and especially teachers. There is no moving on, but there is always moving forward. And how we move forward is a choice.
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Acquired from: Target
I've been putting off writing this review for a few days now, just because I find it really difficult because it is such a sensitive topic and I don't want to be disrespectful in any way whatsoever. So if this review comes off as offensive, I'm honestly not meaning for it to. This was such a devastating event that took place and I just cannot imagine what these people have went through.
Everything that is written in that blurb is spot on and honestly I couldn't say it better myself. But I guess I will start by saying that I don't think this book is for everyone. I feel like as a teacher, this book was particularly inspiring for me, but I think that those who might not be teachers or even parents, it may be slightly tedious at times.
Before going into this I guess you'd need to be aware that the whole book is not about the shooting, in fact there is only a short portion that is directly related. The first half is about Roig-DeBellis's life and growing up, her dreams of being a teacher and how she ended up where she was. The second half is her dealing with what happened and "moving forward, not moving on".
This book was so inspiring in so many ways. One, it reminded me of the reasons why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place (I'm studying to be a teacher if you didn't know), and I find that once you aren't in the classroom for so long, you start to forget why you are doing it at all. and then you walk back into the classroom and you get to see the children learn and enjoy learning and you remember all over again. but back to the book. I thought it was so moving the way that Roig-DeBellis was able to seek the help she needed, worked through her grief, and then made it her life mission to help others.
If you have decided you're not going to read the book because you don't want to read about the shooting (I don't blame you to be honest), but I just thought I would mention that you don't need to read that section in order to get the overall message from the book. The author actually says this in the forward too, I'm not just making this stuff up. Yes, it is sad but it is also very interesting to see this from the perspective of a teacher who was in the situation herself. It's not a recount of what happened toe everyone, this is only Roig-DeBellis's experience and what SHE went through. There are no politics or any real information about the shootings. And you get a real understanding of what happened afterwards that News stories don't tell you, I won't go into it now but it was really terrible and I was honestly astounded.
If I don't end the review soon, it will be way too long, but I want to tell you all to give this book a chance. It really will give you a different outlook on life, or at least give you an insight to what these people went through. yes it is sad, but I think it is important to experience sad things. I don't have a reason, but that's my belief and I'm sticking with it.
Although I really did enjoy the book, I'm going to give it 3.5 stars. I felt like certain parts of the book were unnecessary, repetitive and slightly boring to read. I did like how it was split into sections and that "The Darkest Hour" was an optional part of the book. I'm really glad I read this though, and I strongly recommend this if you're up for it.
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