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Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy
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Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  1,707 Ratings  ·  399 Reviews
On Monday morning, October 2, 2006, a gunman entered a one-room Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. In front of twenty-five horrified pupils, thirty-two-year-old Charles Roberts ordered the boys and the teacher to leave. After tying the legs of the ten remaining girls, Roberts prepared to shoot them execution with an automatic rifle and four hundred rounds of ...more
Hardcover, 237 pages
Published September 1st 2007 by Jossey-Bass (first published January 1st 2007)
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Sep 10, 2008 Fionna rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction, bookclub
I found this book to be very repetative and dull. While the concept is interesting, the execution left a lot to be desired. The first third of the book tells of the events leading up to, during and immediately after the Nickels Mines schoolhouse tragedy. The last 2/3 is where the authors discuss forgiveness as practised by the Amish. It had the potential to be interesting but just didn't deliver. It seemed as if I was reading the same things over and over again, just worded differently, or using ...more

The facts are these: on the 2nd of October, 2006, in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania USA, a man got inside a school (belonging to an Amish community), shot 10 school girls and then killed himself. Five children got killed.

I’ve watched the movie (Amish Grace) based on the book… and those facts.

Obviously, it was a tragedy for both the children’s parents and to the wife of the shooter, namely. The story has an high point, because it revolves around the notion of forgiveness (a very distinct trait of t
Jan 02, 2010 Heather rated it liked it
I grew up near Lancaster, PA and when the shooting in Nickel Mines occurred in 2006 I was among the very, very shocked and very saddened. When I heard of the forgiveness bestowed by the Amish, I had disbelief and after reading this book, it became clearer to me that forgiveness wasn't really a choice, it's a way of life for the Amish. The book delves into the reasons behind the Amish practice of forgiveness when it comes to outsiders - and how the opposite occurs when a fellow Amish person ...more
May 03, 2009 Glenn rated it really liked it
Forgiveness is at the core of Christianity, yet I suspect it is many times one of our least-practiced virtues. It is certainly among the most difficult, and flies in the face of human nature and modern society, both of which typically tells us to revenge wrongs. This book examines the concept of forgiveness in the context of the infamous and horrific Nickel Mines school shooting. Along the way, the authors, all professors in Amish history and culture, provide insights into both the Lancaster ...more
Aug 23, 2010 Katrina rated it it was amazing
Amazing discussion of forgiveness after a horrible community tragedy. I loved this book!
Mar 25, 2016 Yibbie rated it did not like it
Shelves: random-stuff
The first section of this book is so heart wrenching. As the author says, in some way we lost last safe place in America. What those families suffered is terrible. Then they shocked the nation with their ready offer of forgiveness. That part of the book was interesting, and I learned quite a bit.

It was the last two sections that were troubling. There the author delves into the philosophy, theology and psychology of forgiveness in general, and in the Amish communities in particular. Kraybill does
Aug 04, 2011 Chase rated it it was ok
This book takes a look at the tragic shooting in a school house in the Amish community in Lancaster, PA. Parents lost five children in the shooting yet amazed the world by forgiving the man almost immediately after it happened. This book asks the question why and how were they able to forgive so quickly and "easily." I never really knew much about the theology of the Amish until I read this book. I would not say that this book is an extensive systematic theology of what they believe (for in fact ...more
I learned a great deal about the Amish culture, far beyond what I thought I would. This book delves in to the actual tragedy that occurred in the Fall of 2006 at Nickel Mines, handling the situation with respect and sensitivity while still telling more of the story than I knew. I was glued to the television the week this horror story unfolded and then, miraculously, when the world learned of the Amish "forgiving" the murderer and extending a hand of support and fellowship to his family. Like so ...more
Jul 24, 2009 David rated it really liked it
On October 2, 2006, a disturbed and heavily armed man entered an Amish school in Pennsylvania and took the children hostage. He eventually sent everyone but 10 young girls away, and as police surrounded the school, shot the children and then committed suicide. Five of the girls died, and the others suffered critical injuries.

The first section of the book gives background on the Amish and their beliefs, and then recounts the tragic events of that day. The authors then turn to the response of the
Laurel Kooiman
Feb 26, 2010 Laurel Kooiman rated it really liked it
I first thought very highly (and I guess I still do)of the Amish's ability and willingness to forgive and reach to the families of offenders. But, now in light of knowing that the Amish believe that if they do not forgive then they will not be forgiven by God. The book talked about how important and how much they emphasis forgiveness in the Amish culture. Sometimes to their own peril. In cases of domestic abuse, sexual abuse ect. It was interesting to read the history of the Amish culture and ...more
Karola Zambrano
Apr 17, 2013 Karola Zambrano rated it it was amazing
Amé este libro, me ayudó mucho a reflexionar sobre como vivimos nuestra vida actualmente: donde colocamos nuestras prioridades, a qué le dedicamos tiempo y en especial, nuestra falta de humildad muchas veces para acatar, perdonar y amar.
A simple vista es una comunidad que se restringe demasiado y no "disfruta" de la modernidad, sin embargo leyendo el libro pude entender mejor en dónde están sus valores y cómo el auto-restringirse ayuda a que sus familias y comunidades tengan bajos índices de vio
Mar 08, 2010 Maggie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
excellent and balance account of "how" the amish live out of a center of forgiveness and consequently were quick to forgive the man who took the lives of their young school girls. it is difficult to wrap one's mind around such rapid and unconditional forgiveness and this book goes the distance in explaining the context of how such a thing can be done. it is balanced because those few in the media who criticized this act of instant forgiveness (even as most of us stood in stunned silence and awe) ...more
Eric Piotrowski
Nov 01, 2014 Eric Piotrowski rated it really liked it
Like many people, I was profoundly moved by the spirit of forgiveness that radiated out of Nickel Mines after the school shooting in 2006. When I learned about this book, I dropped everything and ran to read it. I was not disappointed with the in-depth exploration of forgiveness and the Amish culture that made it possible.

The authors do a superb job providing important detail of the incident and its impact on the community, without watering down the severity of the atrocity or resorting to caric
Dec 05, 2008 Cindey is currently reading it
Okay, first big mistake was to pick this up at 9:30 p.m. "just to read the jacket." That lead to opening the book, then to starting to read it, and now it is almost midnight and I haven't put it down. I've already highlighted a significant part of what I've read (for those who don't know me, I am an AVID highlighter -- which is why I have to BUY my books, not borrow then from a library). There is so much to learn from this book about REAL forgiveness and reconciliation...but lots of questions: ...more
Aug 26, 2009 Jeff rated it liked it
The first third of the book is utterly soul-shattering, in the best possible way. The calm, clear-eyed way the authors describe what happened in Nickel Mines (which takes up no more than a few pages), and then the beautiful succession of loving acts that transpired in its wake, will remind you that, despite all daily evidence to the contrary, sometimes people are good -- no, wonderful -- simply because they want to be.

The last two thirds of the book are quite a bit drier, and although they're in
Aug 15, 2009 Sheila rated it really liked it
This true story is about the Amish after the Nickel Mines tragedy...and, to the world's amazement, their willingness to forgive. I enjoyed learning more about the Amish people -- their religion and their culture...but the real message of the book is the power of sincere forgiveness. I highly recommend this one!
Feb 24, 2010 Celia rated it it was amazing
Such wonderful insight into Amish life, history and why precisely they look toward reconciliation rather than any sort of divisiveness. Such a lesson to us all.
Dec 18, 2010 Jonathan rated it really liked it
I recently finished reading "Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy" by Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, and David L. Weaver-Zercher. From Wikipedia:

"When a group of Amish schoolgirls are taken hostage and killed in their classroom, their parents and the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, stun the outside world by immediately forgiving the killer.

I previously new very little about the Amish (mostly from the film Witness?). As I learned more, I couldn't help but notice s
Nov 22, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it
This is my thirteenth attempt this week to write this review. I've started a dozen previous times only to scrap my feeble first sentences when I can't seem to get any traction. Words fail me every time I try to describe my emotions when I first read about the school shooting at the West Nickel Mines Amish School in rural Pennsylvania in October 2006. Of course, any school shooting is cause for sadness and anger, fear and heartbreak, confusion and worry, but the premeditated murder of these young ...more
Oct 24, 2016 Koreen rated it it was amazing
it is a great book so far
Mar 24, 2011 Rachelle rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be extraordinarily beautiful and inspiring. You may remember the school shooting that happened in an Amish school back in 2006. 10 girls were gunned down, 5 injured and 5 left dead. But the story that followed such a horrendous act was one of peace and hope. Only hours after this event, Amish people were offering forgiveness to this man as well as his family left behind. Over $4 million in donation came to this Amish community. As needs were fulfilled, the killers family ...more
Dec 02, 2016 Koreen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it was a very great book
Sep 23, 2012 Christy rated it liked it
I initially decided on this book because I thought it would focus more on the event itself but it did not. I should have known that b/c of the Amish beliefs. However, it was still a great read on how these tragic events led to complete and total forgiveness - not only did the Amish community forgive the shooter (Mr Roberts), they also reached out and showed amazing love & forgiveness to his family.

I remember the day this happened, this book indicated the Amish refer to this as "their 9/11."
Oct 22, 2010 KDNH rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Talk about inspiring. In a world where tragic events happen regularly, including school shootings, terrorist and sniper attacks, murders, and other crimes, forgiveness does not come easy to many, if not most Americans. Generally speaking, we prefer to hold grudges, stay angry, and plot vengeance. Yet when the Amish suffered their “own version of 9/11″ forgiveness flowed freely, grace was extended to the killer’s family, and the country was left stunned at a reaction that, quite frankly, seemed ...more
Apr 03, 2016 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: amish
Inspiring, thought-provoking, humbling

Here are some of the thoughts that resonated with me:

"For the Amish, genuine spirituality is quiet, reserved, and clothed in humility, expressing itself in actions rather than words." pg. 94

"'There has been some confusion about our community's forgiving attitude, but if we do not forgive, how can we expect to be forgiven? By not forgiving, it will be more harmful to ourselves than to the one that did the evil deed.'" pg. 95

“For the most part, however, learni
In 2006, Charles Robert visited the Nickel Mine Amish school and visited evil on it, the community and the world. Armed with guns and tools to barricade the building, he sent away the boys and the adults leaving behind 10 young girls. State Police arrived ahead of Roberts' agenda of horror, before it could go to far. His last act of evil was to shoot all the girls and then kill himself.

Five girls died, one is left with catastrophic injuries and 4 survived. The horror was still fresh when the Ami
Aug 23, 2008 Regina rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was a good introduction to several fascinating subjects: the Amish culture and its relationship with the outside world, how the Amish community responded to the Nickel Mines disaster and most importantly the concept of forgiveness and how it was practiced by the Amish.

It was by no means a thorough analysis of any of these subjects. I ended the book wanting to read more. It is a short book (less than 200 pages) and an easy read. Thankfully, the authors included suggestions for further r
Jen Jenson
Aug 01, 2012 Jen Jenson rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Wow! What a great book! I feel that the authors did a great job researching the subject, the interviews and base knowledge greatly added to to understanding of the Amish people and their belief systems and ultimately more of who they are. I actually love books about the Amish. I used to live within 45 minutes of Lancaster and have always been amazed at these wonderful people. In addition I think that they authors did a fabulous job compiling all the research, and interviews together. The book ...more
Jun 03, 2012 Susan rated it liked it
As endorsed on page 233, this book has 3 authors writing on a "tight schedule”. As a result, you’re getting 3 books in 1. All of which are quite repetitive. The caveat is that you must read the entire book to find new and worthy information to pause and reflect upon. The hunt for these morsels becomes the incentive in finishing versus abandoning the book. I found myself flipping ahead to sneak-peek how much of the chapter I had to endure because it was already worded differently in a previous ...more
Mar 16, 2011 John rated it liked it
Written by three scholars with expertise on the subject, "Amish Grace" is about how the Amish community responded with forgiveness and grace to the horrific crime at Nickel Mines School in Lancaster County, Pa., on Oct. 2, 2006, when a deranged gunman killed five Amish schoolgirls and wounded five others. The authors move quickly away from the event itself to discuss how the world was moved by the acts of kindness the Amish people extended to the gunman's family. The shooter killed himself, but ...more
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Forgiveness 4 39 Jun 17, 2014 07:39AM  
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“We believe in letting our light shine, but not shining
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“Unlike many of their consumer-minded neighbors, the Amish do not assemble their spirituality piecemeal by personal preference.” 2 likes
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