Sandy Hook teacher to publish book

HARTFORD, Conn. - Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis, a teacher credited with saving her class of first-graders during the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Connecticut has written a book about the aftermath of the shootings, her publisher announced Tuesday.

The publisher, G.P. Putnam's Sons, said the book, "Choosing Hope: Moving Forward From Your Life's Darkest Hour," should be out next spring.

Roig-DeBellis hid her students from the shooter by putting them into a bathroom. The book will not be about her experience in the school that day but about the trauma the town suffered as a result and about choosing hope in the face of despair, the publisher said.

"You can give in and give up or you can decide to live your life with intent and love and compassion for others and for yourself. You can choose hope — even in the darkest hour. We have that power. I do. You do. Everyone does. That is what I believe," Roig-DeBellis said in a statement released by G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Roig-DeBellis, an alumna of the University of Connecticut, gave a similar message during this year's commencement address for the Neag School of Education at UConn.

"We had to choose hope," Roig-DeBellis told the students at commencement. "So I said, 'Anyone who believes in the power of prayer needs to pray right now, and anyone who believes in something else needs to imagine the very best.'"

The book was written with author Robin Gaby Fisher, the publisher said.

This will not be the first book written by someone involved in the tragedy. Scarlett Lewis, the mother of one of the 20 young victims, Jesse Lewis, wrote "Nurturing Healing Love: A Mother's Journey of Hope & Forgiveness," published last year. The first three words of the title are based on the words that Jesse left on a chalkboard in the family's home in Newtown. The book focuses on the experience of a Sandy Hook parent in the months after the shooting.

Twenty students and six adults were fatally shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14, 2012. The shooter, who had killed his mother at home earlier in the day, then fatally shot himself.

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