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Bernall, Misty
Farmington, PA : Plough Pub. House, 1999
ISBN 0874869870
Cassie Bernall was just like any other 17-year-old; going to school, fighting with her parents, getting ready for prom. Cassie was also a student at Columbine High School, and name now equated with terrible violence. Cassie was one of 12 students shot to death on April 20, 1999. Before her death, the two killers asked her if she believed in God, and “She said yes”.

Misty Bernall, Cassie’s mom, tells her daughter’s story from the time she was a child until that fateful day. In middle school, Cassie got involved with the darker side of life, hanging out with a bad crowd, listening to questionable music, smoking pot, and fantasizing about killing her parents, even going so far as to write about this. It was this writing that opened her parent’s eyes to where Cassie was headed. They immediately pulled her out of her high school and enrolled her in a private Christian academy, attempted to limit her contact with her former friends and monitored every step she took. It wasn’t easy – and Cassie fought them every step of the way. The Bernalls even sold the house they’d lived in for years to get Cassie away from the kids who continued to harass the family. The new house they purchased was practically in Columbine High Schools’ backyard.

With love and determination, they were finally able to help Cassie see that she’d been heading in the wrong direction. Cassie joined her church’s youth group and made new friends, and one weekend when she was allowed to go on a retreat with the church, she was saved. She still had good days and bad days though, and she was still struggling with her faith when the shootings occurred. The reader feels both Cassie’s pain and the pain of her parents throughout the struggle, and yet they feel a sense of hope that Cassie’s life had not been in vain.  (Colorado Blue Spruce YA Book Award, 2003)

SUBJECTS:     Bernall, Cassie Rene, 1981-1999.
                        School violence -- Case studies.
                        High school students -- Biography.


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