An update on the publication of the new book John Hacker and I are publishing, Spirit of Hope: The Year After the Joplin Tornado:
It is looking as if the book (which will have a slightly different cover and back cover than those pictured here) may be available a few days earlier than expected, though nothing is for sure. Our designer David Hoover sent the PDF to the publisher today and after correcting a few errors uncovered by their automated print check, it has been sent in for review.
Barring any unexpected problems, the next step will be to have proof copies shipped to us to review. After we correct any mistakes that are in the book, we give the go-ahead and the book is immediately for sale via its own website. A few days later, it will be available through Amazon.com and we will have the first copies available at retail outlets in the Joplin area. A few days after that, it will be available through other online bookstores, including Barnes and Noble, Hastings, and Books-A-Million (it does not appear that Spirit of Hope will be available at the Books-A-Million in Joplin).
We had originally said it would be available June 15, it now appears it might go live two or three days earlier.
The first signing is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, June 23, time to be determined, at Always Buying Books.
The book is described in this way on its website (which at this point cannot be accessed, but which will go live when the book becomes available):
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.
A complete breakdown of the material included in the book can be found at this link.