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READ: Review, As Good As She Imagined by Roxanna Green with Jerry B. Jenkins

I admit it. Books written with a collaborative- or ghost-writer have a special place in my heart. That’s because when I’m not leaping tall buildings in a single bound, I’m often the words behind others’ stories. The task of capturing someone else’s heart is a terrible, beautiful challenge. So when the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian WritersGuild offered the opportunity to receive an ARC (Advance Reader’s Copy) of As Good as She Imagined (Worthy Publishing, 1/2/2012), I responded right away. 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.” Watch the book trailer here: Find a local Christian bookseller here:  Or order the book on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, or Christian Book Distributors.(FTC disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book free from the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. I was not required to post a review or a positive response.) Do you have a memory of either  9/11 or the day of the Tucson shootings to share? Is God urging you to new challenges for 2012? Please share your thoughts in a comment below. Also, the winner of my Christmas prize pack is reader Judy B, who serves as her mother’s caregiver....

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