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Mount Dora, FL
5 Stars Out Of 5
Tragic Death, Significant Life
December 28, 2011
Mount Dora, FL
One of the special challenges of writing (and reading) the story of "the angel of Tucson," Christina-Taylor Green, is that we already know how it ends. When news of the shooting broke this past January, we watched and listened in horror. Regardless of political affiliation, we prayed for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and mourned as the death and injury toll mounted.
Other than Ms. Giffords, the victim whose death sparked an outpouring of compassion was nine-year-old Christina-Taylor. Born on 9/11/01, her life was bookended by tragedy but bathed in significance. In AS GOOD AS SHE IMAGINED, her mother and Mr. Jenkins pour intense effort into making that message plain.
The book combines a strong narrative thread with italicized comments from Christina-Taylor's father and others who knew this bright, confident child. The additional perspectives add credence to her parents' claim that their daughter was born for greatness. The news-like feed that fronts each chapter adds a powerful, creative element without glorifying either the killer or his crimes.
As expected, raw grief makes its presence known, tempered by a strong faith that seems natural rather than forced. I applaud both Mrs. Green and Mr. Jenkins for their work to complete this book so soon after the tragedy that birthed it and for sharing the personal truth behind the public reports.
Only God knows the potential for good cut in the lives cut short by a misguided marksman. But as President Obama challenged those who heard his memorial tribute to Christina-Taylor, we have potential of our own. Read this book and receive a challenge to become "as good as she imagined."
This is an amazing book. The true story of the 9 year old girl who was killed in the Tucson tragedy last January. I was pulled in from the very first and was enthralled throughout.
The book tells of how Christina-Taylor's parents met, fell in love and their life before Christina was born. There is a lot of back story in this book, but it really is necessary.
I found it quite interesting to hear of Roxanna and John's story, also of the birth of their first child Dallas. The way they moved to different places and also the many trips they took.
Roxanna does most of the telling of this story, but John also shares many things. You would think a book about the death of a child would be only sad and morose, but this one is full of hope and about continuing on when you just don't feel like it.
Roxanna tells the many different things her daughter was interested in. She loved so many people and helped those unfortunate. She was always looking for people to help and causes to support. She loved politics and was always learning.
I love to read books of life stories and this one is so excellent. I highly recommend this book. It is one that will really inspire you.
Thank you to the author for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
With amazing candor Roxanna Green, with Jerry B. Jenkins, portrays the death or her nine-year-old daughter, in the poignant book, As Good As She Imagined. She tells enough family history for the reader to understand their faith, community involvement, normal life and interests. Christina-Taylor Green was born just before the tragedy of 9/11/01 and was included in a special commemorative book, Faces of Hope.
She grew to love tee-ball, soccer, dancing, learning to sew, and politics. Because of her interest in politics, Christina-Taylor attended a political meeting in Tucson, Arizona.
In an innovative format, as Roxanna tells the story of her daughter's too-short life, the top of the first page of each chapter gives a running commentary on the tragic time-line of the tragedy of January 8, 2011. On that day, a gunman shot into a crowd in Tucson, killing Christina-Taylor Green and five others, and severely wounding Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and many others.
As Good As She Imagined emphasizes the Green family's faith in God, the great love and support of friends and strangers who heard of their plight, and overcoming the difficulties of adjusting to the death of a child.
Roxanna forthrightly delineates details of their tragedy and includes sections by other family members, friends, President Obama and Peyton Manning among them. As heart-wrenching as it is, people should read As Good As She Imagined to understand and better help those who have suffered loss.
In total honesty, I absolutely dreaded reading this book. I mean, I cried the first time I saw the cover on Facebook along with Jerry's solicitation for advance copy readers who would be willing to review the book. I cried again when I removed it from the mailing package and touched the cover. A story like this should never have to be told. But we live in the real world, and there are dangers everywhere. I would like to think that the biggest strength we all have is the faith and trust that was demonstrated by Christina-Taylor Green.
Born on September 11, 2001, Christina-Taylor Green was ten years old the day she was shot and killed by Jared Lughner at a political rally in Arizona. Of course, since the main target was Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, it would have been easy to overlook the collateral damage of a nine year old girl standing in the crowd. After all, Christina-Taylor Green was one of six people that were killed, along with 13 wounded. The congresswoman was one of the wounded, and her recovery story is documented each evening on the news.
But leave it to Jerry Jenkins to find a truly heartbreaking story behind the story.
This story takes you through the lives of Christina-Taylor's parents leading up to her birth, and shows you just how wonderful a girl she was. It then carefully guides you to that fateful day when she was killed.
One aspect of this amazing book is that it tells the story we all already know. There are no surprises here. However, it still shocks your senses as you are reading. I can't imagine how many people saw me on my American Airlines flight to Virginia this past weekend while I was reading it, but I can assure you that whoever did knew I was reading something highly emotional.
Another interesting part of the book is that it completely avoids the killer; other than to acknowledge that someone did in fact pull the trigger. The killer is not the story here. There is no reason to glorify him or give him any more publicity than he has already received. This story is about Christina-Taylor Green. And that is more than enough to keep me compelled to read.
I've read it twice now, and I guarantee you that I will read it again. It is a story that needs to be told. Each and every one of you need to read this book and see for yourself the impact those bullets had on a family, as well as a community. Heck, in this instance, even on the nation itself.
I can't possibly recommend a book more than I recommend this one. Sure, you are going to cry. Everyone that reads it will. But you will also finish it with a smile on your face, knowing that Christina-Taylor Green's impact will be felt for years and years to come.
This book is a testimony of the stunning life force God put into one young girl to affect the world for good. Roxanna Green has realistically portrayed the triumph of life over death by putting the life story of her daughter, Christina-Taylor Green, the "Angel of Tucson." on display for a world in need of hope. Christina-Taylor is animated with love, physical strength, gregarious personality and a tenacity to live life to its fullest. Even her death, tragic as it was, is overcome by the goodness of her heart and the thoughtfulness of how she approached difficulties striving to excel and make life better for other people.
This is a book which exhibits joy in the midst of sorrow. The Holy Spirit must have guided the selection of enlightening Scripture quotes to open each chapter. The faith of the parents is evident through their transparent grief that looks to God for comfort rather than blaming God for their loss. They are rewarded for their trust in God by receiving some serendipitous encounters which help them to accept that Christina-Taylor is happy in heaven.
This book is encouraging on so many levels. First, it shows the strength of a healthy American family who has faith in God. It shows the heart of a community, Tucson, AZ, when tragedy strikes and everyone grieves and seeks to comfort the suffering. It shows our political leaders coming down from the heigths of elective office to share with parents suffering the indescribable loss of their child. It reaffirms the hope of Christians who know they will one day have a reunion with family and friends who have gone on to heaven. Most significantly, it shows the amazing abilities God gave to His favored child, Christina-Taylor, and how she soared high above expectations people routinely assign according to age and experience.
I read an Advance Reader's Copy of this book which I requested from the office of the co-writer, Jerry Jenkins. The review is my personal opinion which was not influenced by the authors or publisher.