Prepared for a Purpose: The Inspiring True Story of How One Woman Saved an Atlanta School Under Siege

Prepared for a Purpose: The Inspiring True Story of How One Woman Saved an Atlanta School Under Siege

4.5 11
by Antoinette Tuff

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True Story of Courage and Compassion in a School Under Siege

As 870 children waited in fear, their elementary school rushed into lockdown mode. As the nation faced yet another Sandy Hook story of tragedy, one woman rewrote the ending.

Yet the story doesn't start with those first steps Michael Hill took into that Atlanta elementary school. It starts with


True Story of Courage and Compassion in a School Under Siege

As 870 children waited in fear, their elementary school rushed into lockdown mode. As the nation faced yet another Sandy Hook story of tragedy, one woman rewrote the ending.

Yet the story doesn't start with those first steps Michael Hill took into that Atlanta elementary school. It starts with Antoinette Tuff, a woman who faced her own pain, hurt, and rejection, yet held onto grace, faith, and hope. A hope that anchored her in the most high stakes of moments, a grace that allowed her to empathize with a hurting young man, and a faith that gave her the courage to love him back from the brink.

This is more than just the amazing account of tragedy averted. It's the evidence of what we can do when we allow ourselves to be used by God. And it's a story of how God uses all of our life experiences--the good and the bad--to prepare us for our own moment of divine purpose.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Not only did she make Michelle and me very proud, but she probably saved a lot of lives."--President Obama

"We should use her example to teach our children's leaders--any of our leaders, really, and all of our children--the value of compassion and the power of empathy."--The Washington Post

"She was a real hero in all of this. She just did a stellar job. She was cool, she was calm, very collected, maintained her wherewithal."--Fox News

". . . an amazing illustration of calm and brinkmanship . . ."--The Guardian

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Baker Publishing Group
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Meet the Author

Antoinette Tuff is a true picture of grace, courage, leadership, and heroism at its best. But before she made headlines and talked a school shooter back from the brink, she was a woman who faced--and overcame--her own pain and hurt. Publicly recognized by President Obama for her courageous act that saved a school from tragedy, she's also been nominated for the prestigious Carnegie Medal for civilian heroism. Today Antoinette speaks around the world, spreading hope and sharing her inspiring message of how our lives prepare us for our own moments of purpose. She has two children. Learn more at

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Prepared for a Purpose: An Inspiring True Story of Faith, Courage, and Compassion in Crisis 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
AngelN1 More than 1 year ago
I received Prepared for a Purpose by Antoinette Tuff in the mail yesterday, and I stayed up too late to finish it last night.  I didn't want to put it down.  I vaguely remembered the media attention to a woman who talked a gunman out of shooting anyone at a school in August 2013, but I didn't really remember the details.  This book tells the story of that day, interspersed with the story of Antoinette "Marie" Tuff''s life. At first, I was disappointed that the narrative started on the crisis date and then left many questions unanswered as it went back into Tuff's past, but after the first chapter, I enjoyed the interplay between her personal history and the crisis in the school office.  Tuff asserts that she was prepared by the Lord for a purpose, and that day, she was a vessel used for good.  Her testimony is interspersed with Bible verses, and it is obvious that Tuff is a woman who focuses on God.  Each chapter begins with a Bible verse that corresponds with the issues in that chapter.  Her back story is engrossing, as is the surreal interaction between her and the gunman in the school office.  The only real complaint I have with the book is a stylistic issue: every few pages, a quote from the text is set in bold as a sidebar.  It reminded me of a magazine, where you are tempted to read an article because of a well-placed quote that draws you in.  In a book format, though, I found this distracting and unnecessary. The story is fascinating without any gimicks.   I highly recommend this book.  It would be an excellent selection for a book club, and there are discussion questions included at the end.  This story is inspiring and uplifting, and Tuff gives all the glory to God. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for the purpose of a review, but all opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Antoinette Tuff is an inspirational hero. How she used love, God, and faith to talk down a school shooter is absolutely amazing. This is an insanely interesting and inspirational book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There were only two reviews to go on when I decided to buy this book but they were right on I could not put it down and read into the night This woman had gone through so much but instead of becoming bitter or discouraged she became stronger and gives all the glory to God! What a shining example she is of God's power and faithfulness even when she didn't feel blessed Loved the scripture verses
parmilespages More than 1 year ago
I thought the title of this book very accurately described it.  The contents of the book followed the title, laying out the story in a clear and logical order.  I liked how the author told parallel stories about her near past with her distant past. She wrote her story in such a way that the reader could easily connect how her past and present collided at that moment in August of 2013.  And how God truly prepared her to handle the gunman she faced.  She was an ordinary person that God used in a crisis situation because she was willing to listen to God.  I admired her faith in God, her humility and her courage.   Inspirational is the other word I would use to describe this book.  Through her life struggles and her honesty about her feelings, she helps the reader see there is always hope.  I appreciated her willingness to reveal some of her inner thoughts and struggles and how she overcame the challenges of living.  This book is a great example of Romans 8:28 and how, in the bigger picture, God really does work things out for the good.  I would recommend this book to anyone needing hope.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was so glad to read this and am happy to learn of the Purpose that Anroinette Tuff was Prepared for. She is a remarkable woman and I am even more impressed with Alex Tresniowski who kept her voice true. Thank you for not making her language larger than she was or more formal than was needed. I found myself reading every free second I could until I had the book finished. Which is no easy feat in my line of work and busy schedule. I am reassured that my morning time with Him is guiding me to the right Purpose as well. I will purposefully look for work that has Alex attached to it. Well done and great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Theophilusfamily More than 1 year ago
 Prepared for a Purpose tells a story that deserves to be called Inspiring.  This book is a reminder that God is guiding every step of our lives, whether we're walking on the mountain tops or in the valley, and that when we ask Him to use us, He will surprise us all.  Antoinette Tuff's story is moving and soul-refreshing.  In a time when school shootings fill our cities with fear and their horror tears families apart, August 20th 2013 could have been another massacre.  Yet when the would-be gunman entered the building, carrying enough ammo to kill half the children inside, and insisting that this was not a game, today was the day they would die, he encountered a woman of God who had asked for God to use her.  Antoinette had begun her day, as usual, at an early hour with her Bible. Her morning routine of caring for family needs and then absorbing Scripture led her to Psalm 23. The truth in this Psalm comforts us no matter what trial we are enduring, but few of us meditate on the Psalm in the morning and then encounter an armed gunman.  The 233 can't-put-it-down pages pages of this book alternate between Antoinette's experiences that day in the school office and the story of her life up to that point, weaving together, making it plain that God was preparing her all along. We don't know what's coming up next, and perhaps we wouldn't be able to live if we could know, but thankfully God knows... He holds the future. And I am delighted to have read this book. It's the story of evil averted by this humble, honest, woman whose spirit shines through as she tells the story.  As Antoinette says, It is time for us to "Open our heart to the possibility God will call on us one day and ask us to be an angel for someone, and realize God puts people in our paths to guide us on our whirlwind journeys, and await out next assignment from God with thanks and praise and joyfulness and we will prepared for our purpose. And when we are prepared, there is only one question we need to ask... the very question I asked in that office. God, what are we going to do?"  Thank you Bethany House for my review copy! 
TMS-Avid_Reader_Am_I_0828 More than 1 year ago
Encouraging on so many fronts. Sometimes when one hits the bottom, up is the only way to go. And if that means you put aside your problems to help someone else whom needs the help more than yourself at that moment, then maybe just maybe you was in the right place at the right time for a reason to be used as a tool of God as is the case in this emoional roller coaster true life story proves. In will have you rooting for Ms. Tuff as she saves not only the students, the staff, herself but also the young man in desepate need. I give this 4.75 stars out of 5. This review comes to me as an ARC through NetGallery for my honest opinion. The following is my own statements and doesn’t reflect on to those associated with the making of the book. The description was provided by NetGallery.
SeasonsofGrace More than 1 year ago
This book is inspirational! Antoinette's story could be any one of us. She came from a broken home, and did all she could to keep her children from repeating the generational curse. She struggled to overcome the trials she faced. She has a great testimony to God's goodness. Did all things turn out well for her? Not in human terms of success, but God does not always see success the same way we do. Her daily struggles were the very things God used to help her be able to empathize with a school shooter. She was able to understand his feelings and feel compassion towards him verses just fear and hate. She was able to use the very things that had caused her pain to associate with his pain. She does not claim to be a hero. Instead she says, she was created for a purpose as we all were and that day she was simple a vessel being used by God. This book will be an encouragement to all who read it! I would highly recommend it. This is the kind of people I want my children to hear about! People who rise above their circumstances, and trust God through it all! I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion. I am not required to give a positive review.
lindamoorester More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. Not only the incident at the school in Atlanta was compelling but Ms. Tuff's life inspired me and deepened my faith in God. Her situation with her husband was a mirror of mine. I cried for her and realize now that God has a purpose and plan for my life as well Thank you for writing this wonderful account of your life and I believe everyone should read this.