My Story

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The harrowing true story of abduction and survival from the courageous young woman who lived it—now the subject of a Lifetime original movie, I Am Elizabeth Smart.

In this memoir, Elizabeth Smart reveals how she survived and the secret to forging a new life in the wake of a brutal crime. On June 5, 2002, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. Elizabeth was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped, and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.

With My Story, Elizabeth tells of the constant fear she endured every hour, her courageous determination to maintain hope, and how she devised a plan to manipulate her captors and convinced them to return to Utah, where she was rescued minutes after arriving. Smart explains how her faith helped her stay sane in the midst of a nightmare and how she found the strength to confront her captors at their trial and see that justice was served.

In the years after her rescue, Smart transformed from victim to advocate, traveling the country and working to educate, inspire and foster change. She has created a foundation to help prevent crimes against children and is a frequent public speaker. She and her husband, Matthew Gilmour, now have two children.

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About the author

ELIZABETH ANN SMART is an American activist and president of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation. She first gained widespread attention at age fourteen when she was kidnapped from her home and rescued nine months later.

CHRIS STEWART is a former U. S. Air Force pilot assigned to fly the SR-71 Blackbird and B-1 bomber. He is the author of books including Shattered Bone, The Kill Box, and The Third Consequence. He lives in Farmington, Utah.

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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Oct 7, 2013
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781466835405
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
True Crime / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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From award-winning journalist David Kushner, a regular contributor to Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, Alligator Candy is “a raw story about courage, survival, and most certainly about love” (Tampa Bay Times).

David Kushner grew up in the suburbs of Florida in the early 1970s, running wild with his friends, exploring, riding bikes, and disappearing into the nearby woods for hours at a time. One morning in 1973, however, everything changed when David’s older brother Jon took a short bike trip to the local convenience store. He never returned. Alligator Candy is the story of Jon’s murder at the hands of two sadistic drifters, and everything that happened after.

Jon’s death was one of the first in what turned out to be a rash of child abductions and murders that dominated headlines for much of the 1970s and 80s. It was around this the time that milk cartons began to feature the images of missing children, and newscasters began asking, “It’s 10:00, do you know where you children are?” Alligator Candy chronicles Jon’s story, but also tells how parenting in America has changed, casting light on the transition between two generations of children—one raised on freedom, the other on fear. “Parents today can understand the love, hope, and fear Kushner so eloquently describes in this account of one family’s transcendent courage in the face of crushing pain” (Bookpage, “Top Ten Book of the Month”).

Alligator Candy is a disturbing, insightful, and inspiring meditation on grief, growth, and what childhood has become: “not only a memorial to a brother tragically deprived of his right to live; but also a meditation on the courage necessary to live freely in a world riven by pain, suffering, and evil” (Kirkus Reviews).
On 7 December 2003 Daniel Morcombe disappeared on the Sunshine Coast, while waiting for a bus. For Bruce and Denise Morcombe - the parents of Daniel - and his brothers, Bradley and Dean, it was apparent within hours that something was very wrong. In the first few days following Daniel's disappearance, Bruce and Denise made a promise to their son that they would never ever stop looking for him, and bring who was responsible to justice.

'We will never give up.' As the nightmare of hours became days then weeks, and months and years, the family mobilised to become the moral force behind the longest criminal investigation in Australia's history.

Where is Daniel? covers the decade-long investigation into the disappearance of Daniel and the extraordinary courage, dignity, persistence and fortitude Bruce and Denise displayed under unbearable circumstances.

This determination also applied to Bruce and Denise's desire to mine something positive from the darkest of experiences. They started the Daniel Morcombe Foundation in 2005, to teach children about safety, and have since visited hundreds of schools around Australia. They've established Australia's largest annual child safety day-of-action, 'Day for Daniel', and utilised the funds raised to support other children who have been the victims of abuse.

Over a decade later, with Daniel's killer brought to justice thanks to an amazing covert police sting, this is the family's story. Where is Daniel? is a testament to the enduring power of love between parents and their child, and the strength and bonds of family to survive.

Go on an unforgettable journey, with a woman who has unimaginable strength.

Stephanie Nielson began sharing her life in 2005 on nieniedialogues.com, drawing readers in with her warmth and candor. She quickly attracted a loyal following that was captivated by the upbeat mother happily raising her young children, madly in love with her husband, Christian (Mr. Nielson to her readers), and filled with gratitude for her blessed life.

However, everything changed in an instant on a sunny day in August 2008, when Stephanie and Christian were in a horrific plane crash. Christian was burned over 40 percent of his body, and Stephanie was on the brink of death, with burns over 80 percent of her body. She would remain in a coma for four months.

In the aftermath of this harrowing tragedy, Stephanie maintained a stunning sense of humor, optimism, and resilience. She has since shared this strength of spirit with others through her blog, in magazine features, and on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Now, in this moving memoir, Stephanie tells the full, extraordinary story of her unlikely recovery and the incredible love behind it--from a riveting account of the crash to all that followed in its wake. With vivid detail, Stephanie recounts her emotional and physical journey, from her first painful days after awakening from the coma to the first time she saw her face in the mirror, the first kiss she shared with Christian after the accident, and the first time she talked to her children after their long separation. She also reflects back on life before the accident, to her happy childhood as one of nine siblings, her close-knit community and strong Mormon faith, and her fairy-tale love story, all of which became her foundation of strength as she rebuilt her life.

What emerges from the wreckage of a tragic accident is a unique perspective on joy, beauty, and overcoming adversity that is as gripping as it is inspirational. Heaven Is Here is a poignant reminder of how faith and family, love and community can bolster us, sustain us, and quite literally, in some cases, save us.
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