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Think No Evil: Inside the Story of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting...and Beyond

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  329 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
THE TRUE STORY OF OCTOBER 2, 2006, WHEN CHARLES ROBERTS ENTERED AN AMISH SCHOOLHOUSE, bound and shot ten schoolgirls, and then committed suicide, stunned all who read the headlines or watched the drama unfold on television screens. Somehow, the senseless violence seemed all the more horrific against the backdrop of horse-and-buggy funeral processions and scenes of wide-eye ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Howard Books (first published August 31st 2009)
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Mar 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Think No Evil: Inside the Story of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting...and Beyond, by Jonas Beiler, with Shawn Smucker

In October 2006, the world was shocked when a man entered an Amish schoolhouse and shot 10 girls inside, and then killed himself. When the Amish proceeded to forgive the killer, the concept of Amish forgiveness may have shocked the world even more.

Jonas Beiler is perfect to tell the story of the Nickel Mines schoolhouse shooting. While he was raised in an Amish family, he chose not
Nora St Laurent
Oct 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After such a tragedy how could the Amish not think of doing evil to the man that shot and killed their innocent little girls. It was an amazing site to behold for the world who takes an eye for an eye. Revenge is mine this world says—watch out. Forgiveness is the choice the Amish families made that tragic day October 2, 2006. “We forgive because we can not forget…God commanded them to forgive seventy times seven.”

The author Jonas tells of how the peaceful Amish community quickly sought to comfo
Jan 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How do the surviving families forgive the man who shot 10 innocent Amish schoolgirls before turning the gun on himself? Is it even possible? It is possible and Beiler shares how the Amish families and their greater community have walked the walk and not only forgiven the shooter but forged an abiding friendship with his widow and children.

The author himself grew up in an Old Order Amish family but chose to leave as an adult so he has an insider perspective which allows him to share insights with
Jan 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I was reading a true-crime book with an Amish twist, but instead I got an impressive lesson on forgiveness. This is not a long book, but within it you actually get three non-fiction stories. One is the story of the Amish Schoolhouse shootings you may recall from the news in 2006. The other is a brief history of the Amish, and why they choose to forgive in the face of injustice, including these school shootings. Also, you get a look at the author's own life as it pertains the other stor ...more
Nov 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though I would have liked to have more information about the Shooter and his motives, this is a really important book. The Amish's ability to forgive the shooter, fascinated the world and for good reason. Their actions/beliefs are something to think about and maybe learn from. There are lessons in this book.
I checked out this book the beginning of February after seeing it mentioned on a blog. I hadn’t expected to be reading it in the aftermath of another school shooting.

3 1/2 stars.
Jennifer W
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
So much pain, so much sadness. How do you cope? How do you get past the anger? For the Amish, you pray, you believe your loved one is waiting to see you in Heaven, and you forgive. You forgive the family of the shooter, and the shooter himself, even though he is already gone. You think no evil of the man who has ripped your life apart. He, too, suffered, and his family is suffering as you are. You offer comfort and support even as you are in need of it yourself.

I looked this book up in the midd
Christy Lockstein
Think No Evil by Jonas Beiler and Shawn Smucker is an inside look at the Nickel Mines Amish School shooting of October 2, 2006. Beiler grew up in an Amish home before deciding at the age of 15 to live on the outside, so he has a unique perspective to share on this story that captivated the nation. The world couldn't look away as the news came in about a man who walked into an Amish school, sent out the boys and women, tied up the girls, boarded over the doors and windows and then proceeded to sh ...more
Anyone who has ever had to forgive someone for whom forgiveness didn't come naturally...definitely read this book. It chronicles the Amish school shootings that occurred in 2006 in Nickel Mines, PA...about 30 min. from where I was living at the time. I watched this story unfold with horror at how anyone could do something so awful to such a peaceful people group, especially the most innocent of them - their little girls. Jonas Beiler, who was once Amish himself and is the husband of the founder ...more
Jan 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This was a wonderful, quick read. This book is all about the Amish schoolhouse shooting and how the Amish community reacted to that violence with forgiveness. I thought it was very well written. The time spent on the actual events of that day was relatively little, so the tone was not morbid or upsetting. Instead, the focus was mostly on the people, both inside and outside the Amish community, and how the events impacted them emotionally. It explains a lot about Amish culture and how forgiveness ...more
GREAT message delivered in this astounding tale of forgiveness. The writing is one dimensional and slanted. When it comes to the actual events that occurred at Nickel Mines and the victims this is the way it should be-they were innocent victims. The author continually expounds on how great the Amish people and lifestyle are that it makes it hard to attach credibility to his point of view at times. He says he was born into this culture yet, he has left this lifestyle for greener pastures. All in ...more
Nov 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good book about forgiveness. Would have given it 5 stars if the writing had been a little better, but the story is compelling and moving. It is the story of the Amish schoolhouse shooting in Pennsylvania and its aftermath. Most of the story is about the Amish virtue of forgiveness. After the shootings, in which 5 Amish girls and the shooter died, the Amish community reached out to both the shooting victims' families and the shooter's family.

Judie Dooley
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Think No Evil is the story of The Amish schoolhouse shootiing. I remember hearing about it on Tv back when it happened. What a tragig loss of young lives. The book left me in tears.I think the book should have been caled "FORGIVENESS" as it's all about how the Amish people are able to forgive the unspeakable. I don't think I coud do that.
Heartbreaking story. On October 2, 2006 Charles Roberts walked in, bound and shot little girls in their Amish Schoolhouse. It reads like a memoir, includes short stories about the Author Jonas Beiler who grew up in the Amish community. Due to subject not a easy read but is a quick read because of the writing.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What “Forgiveness” really means…

On October 2, 2006, a shooting occurred at the West Nickel Mines School, an Amish one-room schoolhouse in the Old Order Amish community of Nickel Mines, a village in Bart Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. When the gun fell silent, ten young Amish girls aged six to thirteen would be shot, five of them fatally. The shooter, local milk truck driver Charles Carl Roberts IV, committed suicide in the schoolhouse.

In the aftermath of this senseless slaughter of in
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Own in hardback.

FS: "It has become numbingly familiar: A man walks into a church, a store, a dormitory, a nursing home, or a school, and beings shooting."

LS: "Maybe your children and your grandchildren and even their children will follow your example. It has happened before."

This book started off well enough...but it quickly turned into a how to book about being Amish. And then the note of "forgive no matter what" played the same song over, and over, and over, and over, and...over. Pr
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent perspective on why the Amish forgive. And how. Even when tested to unfathomable limits. Such a good reminder on how true forgiveness can be such a liberating and incredible choice. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 was because the book jumped around a bit much for my liking.
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book for a couple of dollars and thought I would plow through the sadness and sorrow that I new it was obliviously about. We all heard about the lives that were lost on October 2, 2006 and Jonas Beiler a former Amish man attempted to convey to his readers what families and the community experienced that day. I think the story was written well but I felt perhaps Beiler might have fictionalized some areas to give it more of a story line feel. I don't know for sure; that's just how som ...more
Nov 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, dcar, non-fiction
This was a decent enough book, chronicling the Nickel Mines Amish schoolhouse shooting of October 2006. I had previously read books about the same subject so understood a good deal of the implications that Amish lifestyle has on forgiveness, particularly in the wake of this particular tragedy. I read this book with a different purpose than other books I have read on the topic though. Normally, I would be reading about this situation for the aspects of forgiveness and the implications for the fut ...more
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up Think No Evil by Jonas Beiler and Shawn Smucker to learn more about the Amish schoolhouse shooting but instead I got an amazing lesson on forgiveness. Beiler, who was raised in the Amish community but chose not to be baptized and left the Amish way of life. He did an excellent job at describing the Amish belief in forgiveness. They put other Christians to shame. Beiler provides a brief history of the Amish religion along with many of the traits and traditions of the Amish community. ...more
Angie Orlando
Maybe I'm being too harsh, but the only thing this book has is the compelling and horrible, horrible story it tells. We are lead to believe this is an inside look into the shooting, and I thought I'd finally get details about the crime and the poor girls who were shot. That only makes up for a tiny portion of the book. Instead you learn about the author, paramedics and other people outside the Amish community. Jonas Beiler may have been born Amish, as was his wife, but he chose to leave that com ...more
Elizabeth James
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book describes how one Amish community transformed a horrible tragedy into an opportunity to witness to the world about forgiveness. One concept that kept coming to the forefront is the idea of choice. The Amish choose their faith. Children raised in the faith are still given the opportunity to choose. And each day, we all choose how we will live, how we will act toward others, and whether to forgive.

Written by a man who grew up Amish but chose a different path, this book serves as an oppor
Adriane Devries
For many, our first reaction to violence is to seek retribution, but for the Amish, it is an opportunity to extend the relentless love and forgiveness of the Lord, who prayed for his torturers while he hung on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” When a man known to the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pennsyvania, barricaded himself in a one-room schoolhouse full of children and proceeded to shoot ten innocent girls, their religious ideals would be put through the ...more
John Kennedy
Dec 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jonas Beiler tells of how the Amish quickly forgave the shooter who killed five girls and wounded five other girls in a Pennsylvania schoolhouse in 2006 before killing himself. Beiler, a counselor in the area who was raised Amish, tells how such Christlike forgiveness of befriending the killer's family had a healing impact on the victims. Along the way Beiler recounts the sometimes slow painful recovery he made following the death of his twentysomething brother in a motorcycle accident, the deat ...more
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is a first person account of the Amish School killings. The author lives in the community and works as a counselor. He was raised Amish, but he and his wife had opted out of that lifestyle. He has stayed and worked within the community, and his life is still immersed in the Amish culture. While he recounts what happened on that day, he looks deeper into the Amish community and their belief in forgiveness and not revenge or retribution. The book gives one a lot to think about and made m ...more
Kirsten Weaver
As most other reviews have stated, it was much more about forgiveness than the actual crime. I was disappointed a bit not getting more about the event and the psychology behind it, but perhaps no one really knows since the shooter killed himself as well.

The Amish ability to forgive wasn't as shocking or intriguing to me as it is to most, having just spent the last two years in Rwanda where the idea of radical forgiveness is paramount every day. But I do think it could be a really good lesson to
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Forgiveness is a decision to release yourself from anger, resentment, hate, or the urge for revenge despite the injury you suffered. Forgiveness is letting go of hope for a different past (P.178)." I think the very reason this tragedy happened is that the man who caused such pain and devastation could not let go of his hope of a different past with his own daughter Elise. It reminds me of the only comparable time of devastation in my own life: the death of my brother's best friend and his fathe ...more
Andrea Hickman Walker
This looked really interesting, but I found it rather boring.
Once a few years ago, very close to the time that the shooting in Nickle Mines happened, I heard a sermon at my church about true forgiveness. One of the ways the speaker described forgiveness was by sharing how the Amish forgave because it was part of their faith and that because of this reason it was not true forgiveness. The analogy never sat right with be because as a Christian I am commanded to forgive... whether it is easy or not. So because I have to make a choice about it does it not mak ...more
Dec 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
A very interesting and enlightening book. The first part of the book is about the school shootings and the second part is about forgiveness. How the Amish use forgiveness as a tool for healing. How anger and revenge will continue to torment you. The grief and loss never go away but forgiveness is a better coping mechanism.

The book goes on to explain how forgiveness can help in day to day situations, not just in catastrophic ones. I'm sure I would be the vengeful type but hopefully this book woul
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Jonas Beiler grew up in a traditional Old-Order Amish family in the 1950s. He is the cofounder and chairman of The Angela Foundation. He is also a licensed family counselor and founder of Family Resource and Counseling Center and The Family Center of Gap, both located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Jonas is married to Anne Beiler, founder and creator of Auntie Anne's Soft Pretzels, an acclaime ...more
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