Thursday, December 5, 2013

Joplin Tornado books available at discounted prices

(I originally ran this in August, but some of the prices have been reduced even further by Amazon. For those who want the most thorough history of the tornado, complete with first person stories, photos, essays, transcripts of speeches, and the obituaries of all of those who died in the May 22, 2011 Joplin Tornado, these books offer the most comprehensive look at the disaster that has been published to this date.)
541Three books authored or co-authored by Inside Joplin Editor Randy Turner on the Joplin Tornado have been reduced in price on Amazon.com.

The first book, 5:41: Stories from the Joplin Tornado, by Turner and Carthage Press Managing Editor John Hacker, originally $20 is now selling for $15.26 on Amazon, while its follow-up, Spirit of Hope: The Year After the Joplin Tornado, again written by Turner and Hacker, originally $26.99 is now selling for $14.39.

The final book in the trilogy, Scars from the Tornado: One Year at Joplin East Middle School, originally priced at $12.99, is on sale for $8.60.

The three books, which formerly would have cost approximately $60 can be purchased together for $38.25, plus shipping, or separately.

A chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the contents of each book is featured below:

5:41: Stories from the Joplin Tornado

Introduction

Chapter One- Surviving- John Hacker's on-the-scene reporting minutes after the tornado.

Chapter Two- 45 Seconds- Kelly Maddy's tornado experience

Chapter Three- Armageddon at the Hospital- Emergency room doctor Kevin Kitka's details of the tornado at St. John's.

Chapter Four- Death, Destruction Hit Joplin, Missouri- Randy Turner essay on the morning after in Joplin

Chapter Five- Nightmare at Freeman- Carthage artist and Lamar native Kristin Huke offers an eyewitness account of May 22 at Freeman Hospital.

Chapter Six- Fire Chief Was a Hero- John's story on Joplin Fire Chief Mitch Randles

Chapter Seven- Death at the Full Gospel Church- Randy Turner's story on the tragic death of Ozark Christian College student Natalia Puebla, one of four people killed at the Full Gospel Church.

Chapter Eight- God Was With Me- Melissa Rainey-Campbell's survival story

Chapter Nine- Back to the Country For Me- Diamond High School graduate Gary Harrall made a momentous decision after his Joplin home was destroyed.

Chapter 10- Laela's Story- Former Joplin Daily reporter Kaylea Hutson's interview with Joplin High School senior Laela Zaidi, whose family lost its home, but whose doctor parents continued working to help those who were injured.

Chapter 11- Sarcoxie Soldier Saved Lives at Wal-Mart- John Hacker's story on Jeffrey Price, one of the heroes at the 15th Street Wal-Mart

Chapter 12- A Survivor's Story- Rhonda Hatfield's tale of returning home to a nightmare moments after the Joplin High School graduation

Chapter 13- McCune-Brooks Deals with Disaster- John Hacker offers a look at one of the overlooked stories of the tornado, the yeoman work done by those at McCune-Brooks Hospital in Carthage, which had to take much of the traffic that normally would be going to St. John's.

Chaper 14- Code Black- Randy Turner's story of life and death in the 15th Street Wal-Mart.

Chapter 15- Missouri Southern Tested After Tornado- John Hacker takes a look at how Missouri Southern State University stepped up after the tornado.

Chapter 16- Hall's Half Hour- Michael R. Sharp takes a unique look at the entire tornado as an act of the devil, but at the same time reaffirms the faith of the people of Joplin.

Chapter 17- A Graduation Day I Will Never Forget- It was a day that certainly will stand out for Lacy Heiskell, who offers her first person account.

Chapter 18- In An Instant, Everything Was Gone- Iris Fountain tells how her family survived the tornado.

Chapter 19- An Incredible Ride- The first person account of a Freeman Hospital maintenance worker

Chapter 20- The Day That Changed Everything- Joplin High School student Shaney Delzell waits out the tornado at Wal-Mart.

Chapter 21- The Voice of Joplin- Randy Turner's story on the incredible work done by Zimmer Radio which helped hold the community together in the time right after the tornado and since.

Chapter 22- Lucky to Have a Home- Joplin High School junior Denton Williams' final year at East Middle School was cut short, but he and his family made it through.

Chapter 23- Life of Will Norton celebrated- Randy Turner's coverage of the memorial service for Will Norton, who died shortly after graduating from Joplin High School

Chapter 24- The Story That Affected Me for Life- Shanti Navarre's tornado story, which includes thoughts about the death of her daughter Cheyla's friend, Will Norton

Chapter 25- Tornado Victim was a Shooting Star- Randy Turner's look at Will Norton's YouTube fame and his death

Chapter 26- How Will Norton Led Me to Joplin- Rose Fogarty tells the story of coming from St. Louis to help with tornado recovery and the formation of the St. Lou Crew for Joplin

Chapter 27- Tornado Ends School Year for Most Inspirational Teacher- Randy Turner feature on former East Middle School teacher Andrea Thomas, who was scheduled to be named Most Inspirational Teacher at East Middle School, but the ceremony was never held...and she lost her home in the tornado

Chapter 28- Calm in the Storm- That same teacher, Andrea Thomas, tells the story of how faith helped her and her husband Joe survive.

Chapter 29- Joplin Forever Changed Our Hearts- Tanya Snedden, a volunteer from Harrisonville, writes about her experiences.

Chapter 30- Joplin's Apocalypse Now- Randy Turner's trip through Duquesne and the apartments behind Wal-Mart, including his conversation with the father of Pizza Hut hero Chris Lucas.

Chapter 31- The Volunteer Spirit- Stephen and Della Bergen of Samaritan's Purse tell their tornado stories to John Hacker.

Chapter 32- A Return to East Middle School- Randy Turner returns to his tornado-damaged school

Chapter 33- Finding "Hi" in My Joplin Classroom" A special gift survives the tornado.

Chapter 34- The School Year That Never Ended- East Middle School students come to the Fourth Street Bowl three weeks after the tornado for a final get-together, but the belongings of many students remained unclaimed

Chapter 35- The transcript of Rev. Aaron Brown's speech at the Joplin Tornado Memorial Service

Chapter 36- The transcript of Gov. Jay Nixon's memorial service speech

Chapter 37- The transcript of President Barack Obama's memorial service speech

The official National Weather Service report on the Joplin Tornado

In Memory of Lives Lost- The obituaries of those who were killed in the Joplin Tornado

Spirit of Hope: The Year After the Joplin Tornado

Spirit of HopePreface- Joplin Fire Chief Mitch Randles offers the introduction to the book.

1. Spirit of Hope- Randy Turner's introductory story and thoughts about how the people of Joplin have provided an example for the nation.

2. Historic Storm, History Reoovery- John Hacker relives the moment he arrived at the tornado site moments after it occurred.

3. One Year, One Community, One Direction- John Hacker's coverage of the Day of Unity

4. I'm Proud of Joplin- The transcript of City Manager Mark Rohr's speech from the Day of Unity

5. God Was With Me- Randy Turner's story on the Joplin High School Graduation, featuring senior Sarah Kessler, who lost her home during the tornado

6. St. John's Has Been Hit That's All We Know For Sure- Rebecca Williams of Joplin Tornado Info tells the story of how that innovative and essential web page began.

7. A Lazy Afternoon- One of the most searing memories of the days after the tornado was the viral video of people inside Fastrip when the tornado hit. One of those people, Carthage Press Sports Editor Brennan Stebbins, tells the story.

8. Love Led Me Through- Former East Middle School teacher Andrea Thomas told her tornado story in 5:41. In this stirring story of faith, Andrea tells the story of what has happened to her and her husband Joe since May 22, 201, and what she has seen while helping others.

9. Pancakes, Prayers, and Progress- Former reporter Rick Nichols relives the tornado as it hit the International House of Pancakes.

10. The House of Bricks- Randy Turner's journey to the apartment complex behind the 15th Street Wal-Mart after the tornado and his conversation with a father whose son died at Pizza Hut.

11. A Tale of Survival- Andrea Queen writes about how she and her family survived the tornado.

12. Ground Zero- Former Joplin Tri-State Business Editor Jeff Wells describes the helplessness of being in Texas while his mother and grandmother are fighting for their lives in Joplin.

13. Will There be a Christmas Tree?- Marty Oetting's moving essay on the items left behind after the tornado.

14. We Were All Affected- Joplin Tornado Information's Rebecca Williams shares stories from her website.

15. This Town is My Home- Joplin High School junior Laela Zaidi's story was told in 5:41.  This time, she writes the story of how she wanted nothing more than to remain in Joplin.

16-17- The Peace in the Midst of the Storm/Miracles at Walmart- A two-part story with two friends offering their versions of what happened at the 15th Street Walmart.

18. My Tornado Story: A Story About the Heart of America- An eighth grader at the time she wrote this, former East Middle School student Jennifer Nguyen tells a harrowing story of a birthday party that turned into a nightmare.

19. Big Builds- John Hacker's coverage of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Ten for Joplin, two building projects that brought the nation's attention to Joplin.

20. Pushed to the Breaking Point- John's story on Joplin Emergency Management Director Keith Stammer and what happened May 22 and in the days afterward.

21. Local Radio's Finest Hour- In this speech to the Missouri Broadcasters Association, Gov. Jay Nixon praises the work done by the Zimmer radio stations during and after the tornado.

22. Miracle of the Human Spirit- The transcript of City Manager Mark Rohr's speech at Cunningham Park one week after the tornado

23. Sometimes, Love Is All You Have- Amy Gilbert's family lost its home in the tornado, but her survival story has a twist when the band Sugarland invites her daughters to appear with them at the Country Music Association Awards.

24. I'll Never Forget- Pittsburg State University student Amy Herron's touching essay about the tornado.

25. Coming Together- John Hacker's story about how the tornado has affected three hospitals, Mercy (St. John's), Freeman, and McCune-Brooks

26. Autistic Children Benefit from Ozark Center- John Hacker tells another story of how the local health industry was affected by the tornado.

27. Mercy Joplin Opens Component Hospital- A few months after the tornado, Mercy offers a new temporary structure for its patients in this story written by John Hacker

28. An End and a Beginning- John Hacker's portrait of the day the wrecking ball hit St. John's

29. We Will Have School- Randy Turner's story of the Joplin Schools family gathering at the site of the destroyed high school where Superintendent C. J. Huff promised that school would begin on time.

30. Will Norton is With Us In Spirit- This is an article that Turner wrote for the magazine at Chapman University about the effect Will Norton's death had on the campus though he never had a chance to go to school there. It includes Turner's interview with Will's father, Mark Norton.

31. I Will Keep The Spotlight on Joplin, Missouri- The transcript of Rush Limbaugh's July 4 speech in Cunningham Park

32. Blessing in Disguise- John Hacker's story of the incredible job Samaritan's Purse has done in Joplin

33. We Will Not Be Kept Down- Mary Jean Miller, who was president of Joplin High School's Key Club, tells her own tornado story and then writes about how Key Club did everything it could to help the recovery effort.

34. These Are My Students: This Is My School- Randy Turner's essay on the difficulty he had getting ready to teach school in a converted warehouse

35. School Begins Today in Joplin- Randy Turner's story on the day teachers returned to duty and found themselves greeted by a hundreds of community members

36. The Toughest Town on God's Green Earth- The transcript of Gov. Jay Nixon's speech to returning Joplin Schools staff members

37. An Opportunity to Move Forward Together- The transcript of Superintendent C. J. Huff's speech as staff returned to duty

38. A Day of Miracles, Joplin Schools Start on Time- Randy Turner writes about the first day of classes.

39. Back to the Country- In 5:41, Gary Harrall wrote the shortest story, telling about how he wanted to leave the city after the tornado. Continuing the tradition, Gary has the shortest story in this book, too, with a much happier ending.

40. Nothing Stops Us- Denton Williams, another contributor to 5:41, offers an update and a tribute to those who have helped Joplin recover.

41. Tornado-Battered Joplin Honors Victims of Terrorists Attacks- John Hacker writes about the moving ceremony held in Joplin on Sept. 11.

42. Anti-Muslim Sentiment Clouds Gift to Joplin Schools- In every success story, there are a few discordant notes and they were offered here by some people who were not happy about the gift of laptops to Joplin High School students. Randy Turner takes on that sentiment in this story.

43. I'm Proud to be a Rising Joplin Eagle- Joplin High School student Micaela Tennis writes about the first day of school.

44. The Six-Month Anniversary: Nov. 22, 2011, in Cunningham Park- John Hacker's coverage of the activities on that eventful day, including the texts of speeches by Mayor Mike Woolston, Billy Long, Jay Nixon, and Chris Cotton

45. Come Home to Joplin- The text of Mark Rohr's speech at the six-month anniversary observance in Cunningham Park

46. Cunningham Park: Joplin's First Park- John Hacker writes the history of the park.

47. God Bless the People of Joplin, Missouri- In 5:41, Rose Fogarty wrote about how the story of Will Norton brought her to Joplin. Since then, she has continued her volunteer work and she offers a moving story about that volunteer work.

48. Remembering the Forgotten School- Not much attention was paid to the desruction of the old South Middle School, where Randy Turner taught. In this essay, he offers a tribute to it.

49. A Day in the Life of a Joplin Student- Karissa Dowell offers a different look at going to the mall high school- the feeling of a being on display in a glass house with different visitors every day.

50-51. Student to Student: Sharing Stories/College Students Forego the Beach to Help with Recovery- John Hacker writes about college students giving up their spring breaks to volunteer in Joplin.

52. A New Hope High School for Joplin- Randy Turner writes about the passage of the bond issue for new schools in Joplin.

53. A Seventh Grader's Gift That Keeps On Giving- Randy Turner's story about how a seventh grader from New York contributed to my students.

54. Avenue of Hope- John Hacker's story about Peace Lutheran Church, which had its building destroyed, beginning with outdoor services a week later and ending with outdoor services one year later

55. God Remains With Us in Joplin- Peace Lutheran Church's interim pastor Bill Pape writes about those first outdoor services.

56. Thanks Be To This Ever-Present God- A transcript of Pastor Kathy Redpath's sermon at the outdoor service at Peace Lutheran Church one year later.

57. Rejoicing, Remembering, and Rebuilding- Laela Zaidi's thoughts after the Joplin High School commencement program about how far this city has come.

58. Tornado Teaches the True Meaning of School- Randy Turner's story about the last day of the 2011-2012 school  year in our East Middle School warehouse

59. Joplin High School Prom Photos- taken by John Hacker

The following items are featured in the back of the book:

Death Doesn't Get the Last Word: Life Wins- The text of Rev. Aaron Brown's sermon at the Joplin Tornado Memorial Service

The Long Journey- The text of Gov. Jay Nixon's speech at the Joplin Tornado Memorial Service

Joplin Taught the World- The text of President Barack Obama's speech at the Joplin Tornado Memorial Service

The World Will Never Forget What You Achieved- Gov. Jay Nixon's speech at the Joplin High School Graduation

Because You Are From Joplin- President Barack Obama's speech at the Joplin High School Graduation

Center for Disease Control Report on Fungal Infections from Joplin Tornado

National Weather Service Central Region Assessment- The Joplin Tornado

Scars from the Tornado: One Year at Joplin East Middle School

Scars from the TornadoForeword- This features a story that a former East student, Joplin High School sophomore Rylee Hartwell, wrote about the school shortly after the tornado.

A Teacher's Story- Over several chapters, Randy Turner writes about the last day at East before the tornado hit, the tornado and his first trip back to the school, the meeting at Missouri Southern where Principal Bud Sexson outlined what the warehouse school was going to be like, the return to school, the first day and much more.

Tornado Stories- This section features the students recounting their tornado stories. Some were right in the middle of it. Others feared for their friends. It affected all of them. Students with stories in this section include Jennifer Nguyen, Nick Shellenbarger, Abi Killinger, Alexandra Stelts, Donna Tomlinson, Maggie Baker, Cami Sanders, Kaley Moser, Amber Fleming, Desirae Orlaski, Taylor Robinson, Keisha Grunden, Courtney Hunt, Victoria Stehm, Garrett Severs,  and Ryan Ball.

The School Year- This section features stories from the students about our year in the warehouse, with some commenting about the school. Those contributing stories include Sarah Peterson, Megan Hickey, Amy Koch, Jennifer Nguyen, Annie Strickling, Stella Ndauwa, and Melinda Adams. Megan, Amy, and Jennifer contributed multiple stories in this section.

Parting Shots- This section includes a longer story that Randy Turner wrote about the people from around the world who let those at East know that they were not alone in our battle. His story centers around his class's 86-year-old pen-pal from Santa Barbara who came to mean a lot to his students. The section also has shorter comments from Cara Marshall, Jimmie Willerton, Audrey Kanan, Taelor Stone, Logan Whitehead, Amelia Street, and Madison Meinhardt.

Tornado Poems- Among those contributing to this section are students Mykah Campbell, Michaela West, Sean Harrison, Ashton McGehee, Karly Weber, Jacy Welch, Mackenzie Gunderson, Bridget Ingham, Jerry Bland, Joseph Fry, Beth Dulinsky, and teacher Kathy Weaver.

The book also includes a photo section.



Monday, March 4, 2013

A breakdown of the new book Scars from the Tornado

When John Hacker and I published 5:41: Stories from the Joplin Tornado, we promised that some of the proceeds from that book would be used for an idea that came to my mind shortly after the tornado- I wanted to publish a book giving the students at East Middle School, young people who lived in the direct path of the May 22, 2011, tornado, a chance to tell their stories and provide copies of the book to all of the students.

Alas, the project ran into some problems right from the start. Though 5:41 has been successful, it was nowhere near successful enough to be able to pay for books for the students and staff. In order to get that much money, I decided to really promote our follow-up book to 5:41, Spirit of Hope. That book, as I have noted before, while continuing to sell has hever done anywhere near as well as 5:41. Part of my promotional plan, was to buy advertising on Facebook and through YouTube, I bought both YouTube and Google AdWords ads. After a week, neither had managed to sell even one copy of Spirit of Hope, so I canceled the Facebook advertising, canceled the YouTube ads and thought I had canceled Google AdWords.

As I wrote in an earlier Turner Report post, I found out two months later that Google, without even giving me a heads-up had continued billing my credit card for the advertising and by the time it was all finished, I ended up owing approximately $4,000.

This left me with two problems. The main one was that I could no longer even think of buying copies for everyone at the school as I had promised, since that $4,000 was in addition to publishing and design costs. The second, and this was a major factor, I had written so much about the tornado, both in the first two books, my blog, and my writing for Huffington Post and Daily Kos, that I did not think I would be able to do the project justice.

I stumbled upon the solution to the first problem while reading an article in Writer's Digest. I would keep my promise by offering free e-books to anyone who wanted them. Those e-books will be available soon for a limited time, and not just to students and staff at East, but also to anyone else who wants them. I want the story of these wonderful kids and the hard-working teachers and staff to be spread as widely as possible. The students who contributed to the book will also receive free paperback copies.

Everyone knows about the mall high school. Not as many people are familiar with the warehouse middle school. My enthusiasm for the project increased when I knew I would be able to keep my original promise. When I opened the folders and read the stories and poetry the students had written, I was overwhelmed. They had truly captured not only the horrors of the tornado, but also the adventure of our first year at our temporary East Middle School.

All that was left for me to do my writing, which I finished a few weeks ago.

As of yesterday, Scars from the Tornado, with the name coming from a phrase used by one of my former students, Stella Ndauwa, in her story, is available in paperback, both at its own website on CreateSpace and at Amazon.com. More sites, both local and online, will be announced in the coming days and weeks.

Following is a breakdown of what is included in Scars from the Tornado:

Foreword- This features a story that a former East student, Joplin High School sophomore Rylee Hartwell, wrote about the school shortly after the tornado.

A Teacher's Story- Over several chapters, I write about the last day at East before the tornado hit, the tornado and my first trip back to the school, the meeting at Missouri Southern where Principal Bud Sexson outlined what the warehouse school was going to be like, our return to school, the first day and much more.

Tornado Stories- This section features the students recounting their tornado stories. Some were right in the middle of it. Others feared for their friends. It affected all of them. Students with stories in this section include Jennifer Nguyen, Nick Shellenbarger, Abi Killinger, Alexandra Stelts, Donna Tomlinson, Maggie Baker, Cami Sanders, Kaley Moser, Amber Fleming, Desirae Orlaski, Taylor Robinson, Keisha Grunden, Courtney Hunt, Victoria Stehm, Garrett Severs,  and Ryan Ball.

The School Year- This section features stories from the students about our year in the warehouse, with some commenting about the school. Those contributing stories include Sarah Peterson, Megan Hickey, Amy Koch, Jennifer Nguyen, Annie Strickling, Stella Ndauwa, and Melinda Adams. Megan, Amy, and Jennifer contributed multiple stories in this section.

Parting Shots- This section includes a longer story that I wrote about the people from around the world who let us know that we were not alone in our battle. My story centers around our 86-year-old penpal from Santa Barbara who has come to mean a lot to my students both last year and this year. The section also has shorter comments from Cara Marshall, Jimmie Willerton, Audrey Kanan, Taelor Stone, Logan Whitehead, Amelia Street, and Madison Meinhardt.

Tornado Poems- Among those contributing to this section are students Mykah Campbell, Michaela West, Sean Harrison, Ashton McGehee, Karly Weber, Jacy Welch, Mackenzie Gunderson, Bridget Ingham, Jerry Bland, Joseph Fry, and Beth Dulinsky.

The book also includes a photo section.

A link to the Amazon.com page for Scars from the Tornado can be found in the upper right hand corner of this page.




Monday, July 2, 2012

First review in for Spirit of Hope: The Year After the Joplin Tornado

The first review for the most recently published book on the May 22, 2011, Joplin Tornado, Spirit of Hope: The Year After the Joplin Tornado, was published this morning at Amazon.com.

The review is printed below:

Randy Turner and John Hacker's "Spirit of Hope: The Year After the Joplin Tornado" is a follow-up of sorts to their book "5:41: Stories from the Joplin Tornado." Where "5:41" recounts the tragedy, "Spirit of Hope" explores the triumph of the city of Joplin's efforts to move forward and rebuild after the May 22, 2011 F-5 tornado that devastated the city. The book is a compilation of stories, articles, and dozens of photographs. It also includes transcripts of significant speeches given by President Obama and Missouri governor Jay Nixon at the 2011 memorial service for tornado victims and the 2012 Joplin High School graduation, and the final report on the tornado from the National Weather Service.

About half of the 58 chapters are first-hand accounts written by survivors, students, and volunteers. These include stories written by Rebecca Williams, whose daughter Genevive Williams created and managed the Joplin Tornado Info Facebook page that was crucial for providing information to the community in the aftermath of the disaster. It also featured a story from Rose Fogarty, one of the founding members of the volunteer organization St. Lou Crew for Joplin. Other chapters include the speeches made in Joplin by city manager Mark Rohr, Governor Jay Nixon, Joplin school superintendent CJ Huff, and talk show host Rush Limbaugh, at different milestones during the year following the tornado. But some of the most fascinating chapters are those written by the everyday folks, the ones who lost everything but their lives and found a way to move forward.

Most Americans remember exactly where they were, what they were doing, and who they were with during certain tragedies, like Kennedy's assassination or the September 11 attacks; the people of Joplin remember the details of May 22, 2011 in the same way. Andrea Queen wrote about how her family had spent the day going to church, visiting with her grandmother, and watching the Cardinals play the Royals into the 10th inning that Sunday. Not long after the game ended, she and her husband were throwing themselves over their sons to protect them from flying debris and falling tree limbs as the tornado tore through their neighborhood. Rick Nichols was at IHOP, sights set on ordering a "Rise and Shine" breakfast platter, when he and his family had to take cover in the restaurant's kitchens. Rick wrote, "For a solid two to three minutes, our International House of Pancakes became the International House of Prayer as terrified customers and helpless employees alike pleaded with God to save them from the "monster" that was right on top of us." Jeff Wells had been in Joplin, visiting his mother, and was driving home to Texas under blue skies when he heard reports of the storm. He called his mother back at 5:37pm and told her to take cover in her bathtub just before the tornado demolished her home.

After May 22, everyone from Joplin had their own storm survival story, like the ones told by Andrea and Rick and Jeff. Turner and Hacker collected many stories like this for "5:41." What makes "Spirit of Hope" different is the way the stories continue on to tell how people were able to climb out of the rubble and eventually begin to clear out the destruction and focus on reconstruction. Despite living a few hours outside of Joplin, Rick recounted his experience returning to the disaster zone as a volunteer several times in the next year to help rebuild houses for different families. With help from the organization Samaritan's Purse, Jeff was able to clear out his mother's property and salvage 2000 of the original bricks from her home in the hopes of rebuilding someday.

The other chapters of "Spirit of Hope" feature the writing and photography of the book's authors, Randy Turner and John Hacker. Some of these articles were previously published elsewhere; this doesn't decrease their value in "Spirit of Hope." Both of the authors are lifetime area residents with a long history in journalism, and their journalists' perspectives provide a solid foundation for the other chapters of personal submissions. Turner is a teacher at one of Joplin's displaced middle schools and this put him in a unique position to observe directly how the tornado affected the lives of Joplin's students, as well as the school district's response to the disaster. Hacker's words and photographs work together to tell the story of the many steps Joplin has been taking towards healing and rebuilding, including coverage of the Unity Day walk on the one-year anniversary and the Joplin High School 2012 prom.

Together, all of these stories in "Spirit of Hope" are an incredible tribute to the work that has been and continues to be done in Joplin. The tornado claimed 161 lives, but it didn't shake the faith or resolve of the people. It destroyed homes and businesses, but it couldn't touch the community of Joplin. Joplin high school student Laela Zaidi summarized it well in one of her submissions: "The story of what took place on May 22nd will be told as one of resilience, human spirit, and what it truly means to not have a house, but rather a home shared with an entire community."

All in all: "Spirit of Hope" is an interesting and inspiring collection of stories and photos written by and about the people of Joplin and their efforts to rebuild their city. It's not a 200+ page picture book, and I count that as a positive. I definitely recommend reading it.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Deadline in Disaster tells how Joplin Globe handled the tornado

I couldn't find an Amazon links for the Missouri Press Association's Deadline in Disaster, but it can be ordered through its Facebook page.
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Spirit of Hope offers the story of Joplin, the city that wouldn't die

Spirit of Hope: The Year After the Joplin Tornado, by Randy Turner and John Hacker, tells the story of the Joplin Tornado from May 22, 2011, when it destroyed one-third of the city to May 22, 2012, when a triumphant city engaged in a Day of Unity. The following description is taken from the book's Amazon page:

The EF-5 tornado that ripped through the heart of Joplin, Missouri, May 22, 2011, killed 161 people and damaged one-third of the community. What it did not do was destroy the indomitable nature of the people who live in this city of 50,000. Spirit of Hope: The Year After the Joplin Tornado tells the story of how Joplin residents began the rebuilding process almost immediately. The heroes of this book are many- not just the leaders whose faces became familiar on local and national news, but the volunteers from Joplin and the world. Spirit of Hope, the follow-up book to 5:41: Stories from the Joplin Tornado, is the inspirational story of the city that would not die. The book includes the following: -Original reporting from its authors, veteran newspaper reporter John Hacker and teacher and former reporter Randy Turner -First person accounts from tornado survivors and volunteers -Photos from the tornado and the major events of the following year -Complete texts of important speeches, including those given by President Barack Obama, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr, School Superintendent C. J. Huff, and radio personality Rush Limbaugh Coverage of the tornado, the memorial service one week later, the Extreme Makeover build, Habitat for Humanity, the visit of the 9-11 flag, the improbable day that school started on time only 87 days after 10 schools had been destroyed or damaged, the high school prom, the graduation and the inspiring Day of Unity on the one-year anniversary -Testaments to the important role that faith, both from within and outside of Joplin helped the city's residents recover from the nation's worst tornado in six decades -Official documents, including the final National Weather Service report on the tornado and the Center for Disease Control report on a mysterious fungus that attacked some of those who went through the tornado -A forward written by one of the heroes of May 22, 2011, and the days afterward in Joplin- Fire Chief Mitch Randles Spirit of Hope: The Year After the Joplin Tornado, is a stirring tribute to the people of Joplin and the people from across the nation and the world who offered them a hand when they needed it the most.

5:41: Stories from the Joplin Tornado

The book 5:41: Stories from the Joplin Tornado, published last August, features some stories written by Randy Turner and John Hacker, as well as stories contributed by tornado survivors. The following description is taken from the book's Amazon website:

At 5:41 p.m. May 22, 2011, the deadliest single tornado to hit the United States in 50 years tore its way through Joplin, Missouri. By the time it completed its murderous course, 160 lives were lost, and those who survived have stories they can tell for the rest of their lives. Two veteran southwest Missouri reporters, Randy Turner and John Hacker, share some of those stories in 5:41. The book features photos taken by Hacker within moments of the deadly tornado and details about some of the horrific moments that came to symbolize May 22, 2011, in Joplin, Missouri. The book includes the following: -First person stories of the horrors of the tornado -Photographs taken moments after 5:41 -The obituaries of those who died May 22 or later from injuries received in the tornado -Details from three hospitals that served the community well, including one that was hit by the tornado -The nightmarish experiences of those who had just graduated from Joplin High School moments before the tornado destroyed the building. -The outpouring of volunteering that made Joplin stand for hope in the days after May 22. -The complete text of the Joplin Tornado Memorial Service held at Missouri Southern State University, including the speeches by President Barack Obama, Gov. Jay Nixon, and Rev. Aaron Brown -The final National Weather Service report -The heroes who gave their lives to save others This book offers a revealing look at the day that changed Joplin, Missouri, forever.

Joplin Globe offers 32 Minutes in May

The local newspaper, the Joplin Globe, had to deal with its own tragedies, as well as covering those of others. Its dramatic photographic coverage of the tornado and its aftermath are featured in 32 Minutes in May, which is described this way on its Amazon page:

The Joplin Globe is proud to present 32 Minutes in May: The Joplin Tornado, the hard-cover pictorial book that chronicles the devastation wrought by the tornado that hit the city of Joplin, Missouri and the indomitable spirit of the citizens as they recover and rebuild.