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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  10,536 ratings  ·  141 reviews
The award-winning story of a young woman who triumphed over devastating odds to touch countless lives the world over with the healing message of Christ. Includes photos and illustrations by Joni.

In a split second on a hot July afternoon, a diving accident transformed the life of Joni Eareckson Tada forever. She went from being an active young woman to facing every day in...more
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Published May 18th 2010 by Zondervan (first published 1976)
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I read this book because I'm working with a client on a book and he also has quadriplegia. He said that when he was first injured, this book helped him cope with his disability. I hoped the book would help provide some inspiration and structural ideas for me in my client's project.

Joni is a Christian, and almost the entire book is devoted to her relating to her injury in the context of Christianity. I understand that her faith was important to her in coping with the whys and the hows of her inju...more
I went to see Joni Eareckson Tada speak and was so enthralled by her that I borrowed this book immediately from the library. She is such a motivating and encouraging hero of faith. You will not be disappointed from reading her autobiography. She tells you what happened in such details that you feel like you are right there in the hospital after her diving accident. I also anguished when I read about her pain, suffering, and depression. I was so happy for her when she turned back to God and reali...more
Sophie Cat
This book is a beautiful blessing, this story is remarkable.

Joni has touched millions of people and continues to do so. I watched her documentary long time ago, and when i saw her book i grabbed it, and will buy my personal copy as it opens up to pain, suffering, grace, hope, love, courage, support, resentment, gifts, blessings, relationships...

Anyone should read this book,

it really touched my heart, I will re-read it again and again because the heart-warming lessons Joni gives you, opens up y...more
I read this when I was junior high. It was very inspirational. Many of my friends were reading it at that time. At one point, I acquired a few back issues of Western Horseman from the 1960's and in one of them I discovered a letter from Joni in the pen-pal section of the magazine, written before her paralysis. I still have that magazine.
Read this as a teen. I think it was instrumental in making me believe I could do anything...I had no excuses. It also made me more grateful for the things I had. Wonderful book!
Nov 22, 2013 Merlin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Merlin by: Linn Abraham
This is a very good book that guides us to blindly believe and trust in the Lord...The story confirms the truth that "all things work together for good to them that love God".
Joni Eareckson's candid, transparent recounting of her recovery from a nearly life-threatening diving accident provides encouragement, comfort and motivation for all who read Joni. This is the first edition of Eareckson's autobiography; but several newer editions are available, I believe.

While in her mid-twenties, Joni shared in this book the struggles of learning to not only accept life as a quadriplegic but also to embrace and thank God for it. She was only 17 when she broke her neck after div...more
Delray Beach Public Library Public Library
In her autobiography, Joni Eareckson tells us how, in the face of darkness, she trusted God to get her through the toughest time in her life.Joni Eareckson was a normal seventeen-year-old. Having graduating high school, having many animals, and going to college, she had a perfect life.

Then, in July 1967, she dove into the Chesapeake Bay. Suddenly, her head hit something hard, and the next thing she knew she was lying face down at the bottom of the bay. She couldn’t move, couldn’t feel anything f...more
I read this book during high school after attending a women's conference where Joni spoke. I remembered being powerfully affected by both hearing her speak and reading her autobiography. After so many years, I wondered if the story would affect me the same way. Oddly enough, it didn't--at least, not exactly the same way though still powerfully. I think that the intervening years of experience and spiritual growth in my own life caused me to have greater understanding of the spiritual lessons Jon...more
Powerful testament to the truth that even when we don't care about God, are mad at God, are bitter at God, or are running from God, He graciously makes himself known in our lives anyway. I am amazed that Ms. Eareckson Tada was able to surrender to God in such a way as to praise Him each morning though her heart cries out, "I can't 'do' quadriplegia anymore"! She really does "give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
I'm not giving five stars for writing style, which was simple and straightforward and plenty good. What I'm really giving five stars for is the incredible material. Mrs. Tada has lived a life full of adversity AND HOPE thanks to the work of Christ in her heart. What a testimony to the fact that God uses the weak, small and insignificant to accomplish his purposes (as seen most spectacularly in the poor and nomadic life of Christ, followed by his shameful death, and then his stunning victory in r...more
I read this as a young adult, in the early 80's, and I remember it having a big impact on me at the time. My lasting impression from the book includes being inspired by what this amazing woman did through God's strength to overcome terrible a terrible tragedy, but I also remember that reading the details of her paralysis and hospital / rehab stay were really frightening to me as a young adult. I tend to be sensitive that way, though, and I was young at the time, so other people reading the book...more
Recently, I read the book Joni:An Unforgettable Story, written by Joni Eareckson herself. She tells her amazing, heartwarming, and astounding story of her struggle with quadriplegia after a devastating diving accident as a teenager. Throughout the book she teaches us that having faith in God will always help in tough situations. I have been greatly inspired to better my faith with God by just reading her story. While reading the book, I realized that God is always by our side whether it is in th...more
This was amazing. I was right, Joni's story was exactly what I needed for this season of my life. Her story is well-known but what might not be as well known is her journey through depression and searching for meaning and purpose in her life after her accident. There were some beautiful lessons she learned and shared, and I found encouragement for my own faith, health issues, and even my singleness! Raw and real, Joni shares her faith-journey and how the Lord used her accident for good, and for...more
I have know a little about Joni's story for a long as I can remember because it impressed my mom so much, but I never read Joni's telling of it before. It is amazing to read what God did in her life and how she was able to accept what happened to her and affirm that God can work all things for good for those who love him and are called according to his purposes. Joni really emphasized part of that verse: "for those who love him." She said at one point that she had to love God and trust him so th...more
Grant Trevarthen
As a disabled person myself, I greatly admired Joni's courage and tenacity dealing with the knowledge, that she wouldn't physically heal from the injuries received from her diving accident.
Joni's disabilities were as the result of an accident,my disability was from a birth defect known as Spina Bifida. Even so I can understand her anguish at the sudden loss of her freedom and mobility at an age where she was a vibrant young lady, looking forward to life, as anyone would.
What a gift she found i...more
Carolyn F.
I read this in the early 1980s and just had so much admiration for this girl/woman. I don't think I would have persevered like she did and to find her niche, unbelievable. Watch where you're diving!
Deirdre Keating
Thanks for adding this book, EJ, and reminding me of it. Erin, it was your copy that I remember reading---with that exact cover, and often I've confused it with The Other Side of the Mountain---the story of skier Jill Kinmont Boothe. Both are amazing stories of spirt, but this one includes the role of faith played in Joni's journey to deal with becoming paralyzed.
Read this many, many years ago. She is an inspirational person and this book tell how she became disabled.
This is an amazing true story of what one moment in time can do to the rest of your life. If I remember right- she was diving in shallow water and became a quadriplegic.
Her story made me think of many things I never thought of before- like that I take for granted just being able to keep my own head up when I'm riding in a car.
I think this woman is an amazing example of not giving up and a lady in my mother's group recently mentioned her that she has a ministry and provides wheelchairs to those...more
Rose Dernoncourt
Read this ages ago when I first became a Christian. It is an amazing story of an amazing walk of faith!
I remember reading this in junior high or high school and being really inspired by it.
Brian Eshleman
I admired the author's candor about every struggle from suicidal depression to lust that did not end with her paralysis, remarkable since the credibility of her emerging ministry was at stake in admitting this and even more remarkable in that she was still so young when writing these words. Her reading of the audio book is particularly good because her personal emphasis on the words comes through as though she is experiencing them at the moment. She takes clear choice from the promises of God wi...more
I expected this to be more about the story of her injury- how it happened, her rehab, how she re-learned different tasks, how she came to begin speaking to people about it, how she learned to draw with the pen in her mouth.

Instead, it was almost ALL about her spiritual journey, which as a follower of Jesus Christ, I appreciate- but it was a bit over the top compared to what I expected. I was slightly disappointed. If you were wondering about her spiritual journey, you'll enjoy this. If you wante...more
Laura Lennon
Inspirational and powerful story of transformation and faith. Joni Eareckson Tada is amazing, talented, and honest.

I read this book soon after it came out, and I read the update again.. I liked getting the update on her life today and the work that she does. Her accomplishments and positive attitude are enough to give me a jolt of "get a grip" if she can do all this... I can do the little things!

Since I am a fan, I was hoping for a bit more in this update. But this is her story, not mine.. and...more
Again, a mother/daughter book club book. All of those seem to be pretty good (though I wasn't to fond of the Amish ones) This one is one of those book that ever American should read, and It is quickly becoming a classic on my list.

I know afterwards we did an experiment (the daughters) we grabbed a wheelchair in the church and rolled around in it, then we asked each other what it felt like. The answers were "small" "hurt" "left out" etc. It kinda made the book a little bit more real, and hey, wh...more
I read this book as a teenager. I remember the horror I felt at the medical trials Joni experienced on her road to recovery. I never took a chance to dive in shallow waters, ever remembering vividly what happened to her. I also learned how strong human beings can be if they operate through Christ. He gives us a purpose, even when we see no purpose or hope. What a wonderful testimony Joni has still to this day as she uses her life to bless others and shine God's glory. She is a modern day hero th...more
I suppose I was expecting too much when I decided to read this book. I was expecting to really identify with Tada's process of accepting circumstances and life changes beyond her control, and I was expecting to glean some of the biblical truths and encouragement from her journey as well. It really was interesting to read her progress grappling with her paralysis, but I didn't glean as much as I wanted from her story, if anything at all. So, my expectations were shot and therefore, my review and...more
Wonderful book... Every page was inspiring and at the same time making me sad as this was the first of book. It was truly motivating on to see the faith and trust what she had, which helped her to help so many.
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Previously published as Joni Eareckson
A diving accident in 1967 left Mrs. Tada a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, unable to use her hands. During two years of rehabilitation, she spent long months learning how to paint with a brush between her teeth. Her high detail fine art paintings and prints are sought after and collected.
Due to her best-selling books, beginning with her autobiograp...more
More about Joni Eareckson Tada...
A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty The God I Love: A Lifetime of Walking with Jesus A Step Further: growing closer to God through hurt and hardship Heaven: Your Real Home

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“Only God is capable of telling us what our rights and needs are. You have to surrender that right to Him.” 17 likes
“But that's the same for everyone if we let society determine our value," Steve explained as he sat down on the piano bench. "We always lose when we evaluate ourselves according to some one else's ideas or standards. And there are as many standards as there are people. A jock measures you by your athletic ability; a student by your brains; a steady by your looks. It's a losing battle," he said, striking a sour piano chord for added emphasis. "We have to forget about what people say or think, and recognize that God's values are the only important ones.""But that's the same for everyone if we let society determine our value," Steve explained as he sat down on the piano bench. "We always lose when we evaluate ourselves according to some one else's ideas or standards. And there are as many standards as there are people. A jock measures you by your athletic ability; a student by your brains; a steady by your looks. It's a losing battle," he said, striking a sour piano chord for added emphasis. "We have to forget about what people say or think, and recognize that God's values are the only important ones.” 5 likes
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