Read Choosing Hope: Moving Forward from Life's Darkest Hours by Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis Robin Gaby Fisher Online


"[S]tirring...a bold, inspiring and ultimately hopeful book."  --Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post and author of the New York Times bestseller Thrive 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 pl"[S]tirring...a bold, inspiring and ultimately hopeful book."  --Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post and author of the New York Times bestseller ThriveKaitlin 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 single-occupancy bathroom within her classroom, mere feet from the brutal and indiscriminate massacre taking place outside the door. Since then, despite the unimaginably painful experiences she endured, she has chosen to share her experience with others, in the hope that they too can find light in dark moments.Choosing Hope is a lot of 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."[M]oving" -Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Water and She’s Come Undone"[B]rave" -Karen Armstrong, New York Times bestselling author of Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life and The History of God “Although now I have witnessed the worst of mankind, instead of feeling bitter or regretful I have chosen to embrace gratitude. I believe in the power of kindness, the influence of educators and mentors, faith and God, and most of all I believe in humanity. Bad things happen to all of us, things that test us and impact us and change us, but it is not those moments that define us. It is how we choose to react to them that does.”  —Kaitlin Roig-DeBellisFrom the Hardcover edition....

Title : Choosing Hope: Moving Forward from Life's Darkest Hours
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781611764154
Format Type : Audio CD
Number of Pages : 577 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Choosing Hope: Moving Forward from Life's Darkest Hours Reviews

  • April (Aprilius Maximus)
    2019-04-25 15:27

    I could relate to Kaitlin so much because teaching is also my passion, and this book hit me so hard. A truly moving and personal memoir, I definitely recommend it.Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge Notes:- 25. A book whose main character is in a profession that interests you

  • Lauren W
    2019-05-20 15:07

    I found this story.... Odd. I remember hearing about it on the news and watching in shock at the tragedy that happened in that school. For a young teacher, it must have been a shocking ordeal to have to endure with such young children. What got me is the way she speaks of herself. Throughout she says she's not trying to get herself noticed but instead trying to move forward however, the number of pages I've just read about her talking about how awesome she is... I'm not sure what the purpose 80% of the book was other than just to speak about how much of a great teacher she is. It was a quick read, I had to finish it but I'm not sure I'm inspired or overly interested in what she has to say - more saddened by the fact she's using these terrible circumstances to bring attention to herself. I may have misinterpreted it but you'll have to read it for yourself!

  • Shawna
    2019-05-05 19:05

    I enjoyed Sue Klebold's audiobook on the aftermath of Columbine (which she wrote after 16 years of rumination and recovery) a couple of weeks ago, and thought this audiobook would compliment that perspective. I was leery at the outset, since it's only been three years since the shootings, and I don't believe the author has the maturity and perspective to write about the events yet.This is going to sound terribly catty, but the sound of her voice grated on my nerves. The author read the book herself, and she sounded like a valley girl. It really would have been better had she let a pro narrate for her.She starts off after some inspirational quotes, by saying, "you don't have to listen to section about that day." Are you kidding me? Do you think I picked up an audiobook about the Newtown shooting because I don't want to hear about the Newtown shooting? Then she proceeded to talk about how she met her husband and how he proposed, and I just couldn't take it anymore. I'm not watching an episode of "Say Yes to the Dress," I want to know about how you coped with a horrific tragedy. How much filler until we get to the point of the story? At that point I gave up and moved on. Life's too short, right Kaitlin?

  • John Kaufmann
    2019-04-27 21:18

    I really liked the main part of this book. The author was a first grade teacher who survived the mass-shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School by hiding her entire class in a toilet closet in her classroom. The book provides a very moving description of the experience itself, as well as the shock/PTSD she experienced afterwards. Eventually she came to realize she could let the tragedy crush her, or she could begin to move forward through hope and love - through the power of giving. These sections of the book were very moving.The first third of the book was background. It was interesting enough reading, and some background is necessary to set the context and give us a glimpse of her character. But I thought it went on too long, almost to the point of quitting the book. But once she got into the tragedy and aftermath, it was hard to put down. It petered out a little at the end as she started talking about the Classes 4 Classes organization she eventually founded for classrooms and teachers around the country to give to other classrooms and teacher. I thought it smacked too much of giving of material things, and of being an exchange where people can list their needs (which smacks of taking, not giving). Overall, though, a very good book.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-05-21 15:15

    This is an amazing read by a woman who survived the Sandy Hook shooting in December 2012. Roig-DeBellis is the teacher who hid her students in the restroom attached to her classroom. She showed exceptional bravery and I applaud her for that. Roig-DeBellis' truly demonstrates that you can survive a horrific event and still make positive change in the world. As you can see from the first paragraph, Roig-DeBellis opened a nonprofit to help teachers who need help purchasing items for their classrooms. This started as a result of the Sandy Hook shooting because her classroom received more donations than they needed. Roig-DeBellis conversed with her students and came up with the idea. It's really great that something positive happened as a result of the Sandy Hook shooting.There are a few things that disturb me about this book. First, once students returned to class they were sent to a different elementary school so they wouldn't be returning to the scene of the shooting. Roig-DeBellis' new classroom did not have an attached restroom and she was scared about where to hide in case there was another shooting. She addressed the issue with her Principal and Superintendent on numerous occasions. They disregarded her, stating that the elementary school was safer now with police protection. The children were obviously still scared about it but that did not change the Principal or Superintendent's opinion. Roig-DeBellis continued debating the issue until she was placed on leave. The Principal or Superintendent should have listened to Roig-DeBellis' concerns to help the children feel safer. It is clear that out of the three of them, Roig-DeBellis was the only one who truly cared about the safety of her children.Roig-DeBellis also tells a little bit about her personal life in the beginning, as well as the entire story of that fateful day in December 2012. This is a powerful story and I highly recommend everyone to read it

  • Sharon
    2019-05-02 21:06

    It was actually a little boring and repetitive. Not the parts about the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary, but some of the stuff just about her life in general. I tried listening to it on CD and I couldn't get through it. The author read it aloud and she very strangely over enunciated words or certain syllables. It was so odd. So, I read it instead, but other than the sections specifically about the school, I ended up skimming it, because it wasn't that interesting. (Not that anyone would find my life story that riveting either.) As far as the story goes, it's too bad that she was not able to stay with her class after the tragedy. I was unaware of that and of all of the backlash this teacher received, but it seems like a big part of her choosing to write her story is to get her side of it out there and offer a rebuttal to apparently disparaging rumors about her supposedly abandoning her class.

  • Clare Bird
    2019-04-22 21:28

    Overall I felt like this book was "me, me, me." All about her life and very little to do with the Sandy Hook Shooting.... which is fine, but wasn't what the reader was expecting, in my opinion. It did have a good message, to choose hope.

  • Dedra Montgomery
    2019-04-25 18:27

    Was not sure what expect from this book when I started it. I would recommend it to anyone. The author was a first grade teacher at Sandy Hook School the day the tragedy happened. While she does discuss what happened that day, most of the book is about how she was able to come back and make something positive out of her life after being in so much darkness immediately after the shooting. Basically the book is about looking at the positive side of things, no matter what you are going through. This book kept my attention and I finished it in one day.

  • Kirsti
    2019-05-10 15:15

    A very positive book to have come from this tragedy. Kaitlin has a very good voice that translates well to the written word, and I felt really connected to both the story and the author. I first read a book review in one of the trash magazines that my mother in law always buys, and I was intrigued. I found the book to be informative, and yet still emotional. There was no real description of the awful events, at the author's request. Instead, it focuses on the healing and trying to find positive things in life when you think it can't get any worse. Five stars.

  • Laura Parente
    2019-05-12 22:12

    I think this is the fastest I have ever read book! The chapter about that fateful day can be hard to read. She even suggests that some may want to skip it. What I thought was so great is her detailing how she came out through the darkness and was able to pick up the pieces of her life, one day at a time.

  • Crystal
    2019-05-08 19:10

    Wonderful book about overcoming the worst and deciding to live life to the fullest.

  • Teneal
    2019-04-25 16:08

    Beautiful message. Very inspirational.

  • Nancy
    2019-05-03 22:05

    Tragic story....this book would be very meaningful for a fellow teacher to read as they would fully understand the whole student/teacher relationship.

  • Ingrid
    2019-05-06 17:31

    This book seriously could have done without the first part. It just talks about her growing up, wanting to be a teacher, getting engaged, blah blah blah.... It came off as being really self-indulgent. Once the story of the shooting came in, the pace really picked up and it got more interesting. My only other complaint of the book was that it often felt cheesy, like every other story of overcoming adversity. If it wasn't about the Sandy Hook shooting, which already interests me, then I wouldn't have read it. Otherwise, in the parts of the book that told the story itself rather than just the lessons she learned, it was pretty interesting getting a "behind the scenes" look at the tragedy. I also had no idea of her charity or backlash until reading this. But speaking of the backlash, is it wrong that I agree with some of what her opposers at the school believed? She wanted to implement more security in her classroom to put the students minds at ease; wouldn't that ultimately have the opposite effect because it reinforces that danger could be near? Maybe she should have tried to see the other perspective.

  • Bean Pontes
    2019-05-06 22:19

    The overarching themes of hope, kindness and importance of social emotional learning were the main take aways for me. Especially the notion that "action is healing." I too find this to be true. The pain doesn't go away following loss, tragedy, etc., but channeling the pain into positive action can be liberating. My heart aches for the community of Newtown and the families affected by this horrific event. I'm disheartened by certain reviews implying the author is searching for fame. No one would choose to have endured what this heroic woman has endured just to get their 15 minutes of fame. She saved the lives of her students and I am grateful for her quick action during an absolute nightmare that anyone working in a school fears. I read this book in preparation for my first year as a school psychologist and definitely found it meaningful.

  • Maryann MacNeil
    2019-04-24 23:28

    This was anything but inspiring to me, as it was more about how amazing the author is as a person, teacher, girlfriend, wife etc. You'll love the book if you're interested in her life and what a wonderful teacher, hero or daughter she is. I almost gave up when I reached the chapter on how her husband proposed and his love letter to her.I cannot understand a person trying to bring attention to herself given the tragic event and loss. She seemed incredibly arrogant and immature. This book could have been so much better if she had taken the focus off herself and actually focused the book on hope and moving forward as the title suggests.

  • Nada Loughead
    2019-04-26 18:23

    Inspirational - from a horrific tragedy comes hope and motivation - amazing. That being said, I found the focus was on how wonderful her childhood was, how positive she is and skimming over the darkest times as if that was a betrayal of who she should be. I would hate to think what her conversation would be like with someone with PTSD - something I'm surprised she doesn't have. But still...inspirational.

  • Christina
    2019-04-29 21:10

    This is such a horrific experience and I am always curious how people overcome such difficult things. This book unfortunately was very slow. I was bored and had to force myself to finish. She talked about herself way too much and it turned me off from caring about her story. I gave it 2 stars because it started out as a 3 or 4, but dwindled quickly.

  • Kim Kerns
    2019-05-02 17:23

    As a teacher this book is a must read. She states what I believe in and even has the same inspirational quotes and Mother Theresa's "Do it Anyway" poem that I love. This book is for everyone to increase kindness, love and empathy in our world! We can be the change!

  • Alissa
    2019-05-20 21:08

    This book had so much potential but turned out to be filled with (not so) humble bragging about what an amazing person she was. Major disappointment.

  • Karen Gennarelli
    2019-04-30 17:24

    Book about Newtown - not for everyone. A very difficult book to read. I am glad that I read it but would not recommend this book to most.

  • Cherish
    2019-05-12 21:17

    Heartbreaking and inspiring!!

  • Nina
    2019-05-04 19:06

    Kaitlin Roig- DeBellis shares how she moved on from her darkest hour through the the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre.

  • Julie
    2019-04-23 15:17

    InspiringThis book shows how we can all make something positive from something that is tragic. It's easy to focus on the negative. It takes strength to get past it and move forward.

  • LisaKeegan
    2019-05-03 15:26

    I can't believe the other people who panned this book. She is one person, telling her side of the story! Of course it was, "me, me, me". I thought she was very inspirational

  • Kelly
    2019-05-22 23:04

    See this review on do you move forward after going through a tragedy of unimaginable proportions? That is something that author (with Robin Gaby Fisher) Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis has not had an easy road determining, but her answer lies in Choosing Hope: Moving Forward from Life’s Darkest Hours.A dedicated first grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary in a quaint little Connecticut town called Newtown, Roig-DeBellis was in circle time one minute with her primary-age students, and the next, forced to make a spur-of-the-moment decision to save all their lives. It was the young educator’s quick thinking that piled her entire class into a bathroom not big enough for even one adult. Not knowing if any of them were going to make it out alive, she tried to keep the children calm as they could hear the horror happening all around them. After they were led out of the ravaged school by police and into the arms of waiting parents, the trauma Roig-DeBellis and her class faced became all too real. This is where the story of Choosing Hope really begins.Most people know the story of Sandy Hook based on what they have read and seen on the television. However, what makes Choosing Hope so inspirational is that Roig-DeBellis has learned not to let that unbearable day define her; in fact, she even mentions that readers can skip the chapters about the shootings if they wish because that’s not what the book is about. With much therapy and the loving support of her family, husband, ex-students and their parents, the author has chosen instead to make some good come out of this tragedy. She has left teaching (not by choice), but has developed a nonprofit called Classes 4 Classes, where classrooms across the nation adopt other classrooms in need.Roig-DeBellis doesn’t sugarcoat anything and is completely honest. However, readers expecting a minute-by-minute account of December 14, 2012 should turn elsewhere. Choosing Hope is about one woman’s journey to remember all those that died that day by giving to others and choosing to reframe her thoughts.MY RATING - 4

  • Tara
    2019-04-26 16:25

    Very quick read. I liked reading about Kaitlin's story and her message of hope and doing good. I enjoyed reading about her teaching style and the social curriculum. The only thing that brought the book down a star for me is that it seemed like she was overly trying to get us to see how awesome she was. She'll say things like she doesn't need the accolades and awards, but look at all these awards I've won. Here's all the awesome things my students said about me. It sounds like she had a tough early exit from the school and has had some negative things said about her because of that exit, so she wanted us all to know her side of the story and that she's a great person/teacher. I will say, from her side of the story, I was shocked at what the school did to her and how they wouldn't help her class at all. Literally the only reason she and these kids survived is because they were able to hide in this bathroom. Other classes hiding in other places were killed. :( So I couldn't believe they wouldn't give that class a hiding place or exit strategy.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-10 18:31

    If you are looking for a book detailing a horrific tragedy and the who, what, and when (and most importantly, why) of a school shooting, keep looking. This book is much more, and carries a different meaning. While this book and the charity founded by Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis came from the ashes of the firey trauma that devastated a small town in Connecticut, her focus is placed on how to move forward from that dark point in her life. Its message transcends the one event and explains that there is more to life than the negative that we can dwell upon, and helping to pay it forward with some positivity can make the difference to someone's life and help heal one's own wounds.It was written with grace and respect to its roots, but managed to maintain enough of an inspirational style to stand alone outside of something more analytical, typically associated with events such as these. It is worth a read and can help people looking for some positivity in life to "move forward--not on--" from life's more troubling times.

  • Karen
    2019-05-11 20:20

    I liked parts of the book. Like some movies I've watched, I think much of it could have been left out and it wouldn't have impacted the overall story. For instance, there was stuff I just didn't care about and I skimmed through it. For instance, her wedding. I'd have been content to know that she'd happily married--I wasn't interested in the details. No biggie though, other people probably loved that part and that's great. I haven't finished the last few pages and probably won't. Overall, it was a positive book and I admire Kaitlin for her bravery and perseverance, particularly in dealing with the PTSD. Unless you've dealt with it, it's hard to fathom what it's like. She did a good job of describing her fears in the aftermath. There were some good quotes/ideas. Before I give the book back to my friend who loaned it to me I might write down a couple of quotes I liked--IF I can find them. :)

  • kristen
    2019-04-30 20:07

    After surviving the horrific attack at Sandy Hook Elementary, Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis had to bravely return to the classroom along with her students while trying to make them feel safe and secure enough to start again. She told of her first graders crying in the fetal position after hearing boxes being pushed around in another classroom. Students were constantly asking her if the bad guys were coming to get them again. Unfathomable.With the help of a counselor, Roig-DeBellis decided action was the only way to help her and her students to heal. She describes how she realized she had a choice to make; to be constantly paralyzed with fear or to decide to recognize the good that is in the world and pay it forward. She has inspired many classrooms to reach out and help other classrooms with outstanding needs. This book offered some thoughtful insight into facing overwhelming circumstances.