Cover image for She said yes : the unlikely martyrdom of Cassie Bernall
She said yes : the unlikely martyrdom of Cassie Bernall
Bernall, M. (Misty), 1961-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Farmington, PA : Plough Pub. House, 1999.
Physical Description:
140 pages ; illustrations 21 cm
Reading Level:
1030 Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC High School 8.4 9 Quiz: 21226 Guided reading level: NR.
Personal Subject:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV6250.4.S78 B47 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
HV6250.4.S78 B47 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

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She Said Yes is a story of growing up in the '90s, of peer pressure, adolescent turmoil, and the tough choices parents make. It is the story of a mother's loss - of dreams and hopes dashed by the cruel reality of death at an early age. But it is also a story of redemption more enduring than the tragedy that cut a young life short.

Author Notes

Misty Bernall, Cassie's mother, is a financial analyst for Lockheed Martin and lives in Littleton, Colorado, with her husband Brad, their son Chris, and two German shepherds, Heidi and Reese.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

It's bleak and wrenching to hear the family of a slain teenager try to make sense of what happened. Bernall's daughter, Cassie, a 17-year-old junior, was a victim in the student-led massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. Mother, father and brother trade off narration, starting with a description of Cassie's last morning, eerie in its normalcy, as she prepared for school. Then the terrible event of her death is reconstructed, with the help of eyewitness reports from fellow students. It is from these that the Bernall family first heard of Cassie's "martyrdom," how she was asked aboutÄand affirmedÄher belief in God before she was shot. The tape would be a morbid tearjerker if it stopped there, but thankfully the author goes further, describing the day-to-day reality of Cassie's own troubled adolescence (she had been attracted to Satanism and with a friend had fantasized about killing her parents). This allows for an intimate discussion of parenting, faith and understanding that plays especially convincingly on audio. Simultaneous release with the Plough hardcover. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In the sad and overwhelming story of Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, there was an unlikely moment of religious courage that caught much of the nation's attention: Cassie Bernall's refusal, under threat of death, to deny her belief in God. This short account of Cassie's brief life by her mother seriously takes up the question of the meaning of her death. In it we find a typical adolescentÄfinding and shedding the wrong friends, quarreling with her family, and responding to her inner dedication to Christianity. Her mother's book is remarkably balanced and restrained: "Before she was a martyr, she was a teen." This book will beÄdeservedlyÄin high demand. For most collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA-It would be hard to find anyone in the U.S., teen or adult, who does not know what happened at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, on April 20, 1999. This biography was written by the mother of Cassie Bernall, who was shot by one of the two teen gunmen after answering yes to the question, "Do you believe in God?" A touching foreword by author Madeleine L'Engle sets the tone of the book. Cassie is a very real teen, one who had been as deeply troubled as her killers, but who managed to work her way through it. She had dabbled in "black arts," exchanged letters with a friend about "murdering" a teacher, and loved the shock rock group Marilyn Manson. Once aware of her problems, her parents contacted the authorities, restricted her movements, and closely monitored her friends and activities. Miraculously, a weekend retreat with a church group and newfound friends turned her life around. The story is told through many of her writings and letters, so readers begin to feel as though they know this girl, and understand her. It is a poignant story that will touch teens and leave them wondering if they would have the inner strength and bravery that Cassie showed at her death.-Carol DeAngelo, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



from Chapter 7 -- Dying We Live Within a day of the shooting at Columbine High, the story of Cassie's exchange with the boys who killed her was making headlines across the nation, and by the next day, people began calling her the "martyr of Littleton." At first I wasn't too sure what to make of it. Cassie is my daughter, I thought. You can't turn her into a Joan of Arc. I'm not belittling her bravery. I'm profoundly proud of her for refusing to cave in, and for saying yes to her killers, and I always will be. She had principles and morals, and she was not ashamed of them, even though it must have taken all the courage she could muster to hold fast. When I first heard what she had done, I looked at Brad, and I wondered, "Would I have done that?" I might have begged for my life. Cassie didn't. She may have been seventeen, but she's a far stronger woman than I'll ever be. Still, she would hate to be held up as a shining example or singled out for praise. In any case, she was not the only one to pay for taking a stand that day at the high school...In one classroom, a teacher pulled out light bulbs to darken the room and trick the shooters into thinking it was empty. One boy threw himself on top of his sister to protect her from the gunfire and take the bullets himself. Another grabbed a bomb and tossed it clear of a group of fellow students, even though he was wounded. Dave Sanders, a teacher, stood in a hallway as the gunmen approached, blocking oncoming students and urging them to run the other way to safety. Minutes later he was shot, and by the time a rescue squad got to him, he had bled to death. To lift up Cassie as a martyr, then, is unnecessary. It won't change the facts of her life. For Brad and me it is enough to know that, whatever the reason, Cassie stood up for what she believed. It is enough to know that at an age when image means everything, she was not ashamed to make a stand or afraid to say what she thought. Copyright © 1999 by Misty Bernall Excerpted from She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall by Misty Bernall All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xiii
1. Tuesdayp. 1
2. Daddy's Girlp. 17
3. Murder, she Wrotep. 35
4. Home Frontp. 57
5. U-Turnp. 77
6. The Trials of Lovep. 87
7. Dying we Livep. 113
8. Reflectionsp. 125