A story of unconditional love and acceptance where you least expect it.
Imagine yourself a 13-year-old hundreds of miles away from home, in a strange city, and your mom leaves you at a bus station and drives off into the night with her lover. That's the real life story of country music star Jimmy Wayne. It's a miracle that Jimmy survived being hungry, homeless, and bouncing in and out of the foster care system, and sleeping in the streets. But he didn't just overcome great adversity in his life; he now uses his country music platform to help children everywhere, especially teenagers in foster care who are about to age out of the system.
Walk to Beautiful is the powerfully emotive account of Jimmy's horrendous childhood and the love shown him by Russell and Bea Costner, the elderly couple who gave him a stable home and provided the chance to complete his education. Jimmy says of Bea, "She changed every cell in my body." It also chronicles Jimmy's rise to fame in the music industry and his Meet Me Halfway campaign - his walk halfway across America to raise awareness for foster kids.
©2014 Thomas Nelson (P)2014 Thomas Nelson
This is a very touching story! Provides a great insight into a very worthy cause.
This is one of the best books I've ever read or listened to! I literally lost sleep because I wanted to find out what happened next!
There was one part of the story that sounded like something out of a horror movie but it was real life to Jimmy and his sister, Patricia. No one should have to experience something like that, especially a child! I don't want to give away the details. It's really amazing that Jimmy and Patricia lived through some of these terrible situations. For all of the bad things described in the first part of the book, they are outweighed by the beautiful love and appreciation that comes through later in the story when Jimmy speaks of Russell and Bea Costner, the couple who welcomed him into their home when he was living on the street.
Crowd surfing at the concert at Madison Square Garden - Silly and cool at the same time! How many people can say they've done that? Jimmy completing the walk half way across the country was incredibly inspiring. I can't imagine taking 7 months out of your life to do something like that! It took such dedication to keep going and complete the walk even though it took longer than planned and Jimmy dealt with multiple physical hardships along the way. It was touching how many people reached out to help Jimmy Wayne and support Project Meet Me Halfway!
When Jimmy Wayne approached legendary songwriter Skip Ewing with a song idea and they planned a meeting to write together! That took guts and it was the beginning of his career taking off. Without making a name for himself as a songwriter and country music artist in Nashville, he wouldn't have the platform to bring awareness to kids and youth growing up the way he did.
It's very fitting that Jimmy Wayne himself reads the Prologue and Epilogue. There is raw emotion in his voice that can only come from someone who's lived the words he's reading. Gabe Wicks does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life. He has just the right tone and inflection to articulate the situations and emotions in Jimmy Wayne's autobiography!
This book not only was inspiring, providing a 1st person insight into the life of a foster child, but also described the real life ups and downs of a career. Writer should have provided the narration.
I have read hundreds of books and this is in my top 5. After reading this incredible story, I am inspired to do more to help suffering children. Jimmy Wayne is a remarkable individual.
This book has been beautifully written by Jimmy Wayne and Ken Abraham. And the fact that it is the true story of Jimmy Wayne's life made it even more compelling. Tears welled up in my eyes more than once while listening to the telling of this heartfelt story.
I will never look at the situations that at risk children find themselves experiencing in the same way again! Envisioning a teenager living in a filthy trailer with no heat in the middle of winter in North Carolina absolutely broke my heart. My perspective has been changed forever!
I think the narrator was very in tune with Jimmy Wayne's life experiences and gave a believable and empathetic performance
Jimmy Wayne speaks from his personal experiences beginning by taking the listener through the heart-wrenching betrayal, heartbreak and losses he experienced as a child. Jimmy's story then evolves into the acceptance and loving kindness he experiences as an older teenager into young adulthood. And then Jimmy Wayne tells of the success he achieves as a country singer leading to the beautiful walk that begins to fulfill a personal commitment he made to himself to bring attention to the plight of at risk children who sadly age-out of the foster system at age 18. Jimmy Wayne works tirelessly to change this!! I have listened to this audible book 4 times since I made the purchase! I highly recommend this book to everyone!!
I have already posted recommendations on Goodreads, Amazon, and sent out several emails & texts to friends, telling them this is a "HAVE TO READ"!
It would be hard to choose just one and I wouldn't want to give away the story. I think throughout the story, I was constantly touched by this young man's honesty and willingness to work hard, even when those around him showed him no examples of either character trait! He tells his story without laying blame or being negative. He tells the story, but the reader is uplifted by his diligence and faith, in even the most difficult circumstances.
I'm not sure this applies since this is a biography so the story is about one character, Jimmy Wayne.
Again, I don't want to give anything away, but then ending is literally beautiful.
I LOVE to read. In recent years, my reading has been via audio books and I consume--actually devour--an average of a book a day sometimes! I know a book has really touched my heart when it ends and I feel like I have lost friends. That is doubly tragic when the "friends" are fictional characters. This morning's ending was different, a touching, true story of a young man who grew up with a life eerily similar to my hubby, Gary, the Alabama Turtle Farmer! The book, A Walk to Beautiful by Jimmy Wayne, by Ken Abraham. Throughout the story, I was constantly reminded how a positive attitude, honesty of character, and a willingness to work hard can serve even those in the most extreme circumstances. I can't imagine how someone could read this story and not be touched on many levels. The hand of God was most certainly on this young man as he overcame a life most of us can't imagine. As an adult, his passion is to raise awareness for the plight of children who need foster care, adoptive homes, and especially, that every state will raise the age of foster children in state care to 21. This gives a young person time to pursue higher education, become established in the work force, or just mature a little more before facing the adult world. I recommend books often and my tastes are varied--from numerous audios of The Bible and Christian fiction to Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I don't say this lightly, Everyone should read this book! I can count on one hand the books I read or listen to more than once, other than The Bible. This will be on the "read again" list! On Goodreads.com, it is going on my "Highly Recommended by The Turtle Lady" shelf! The Alabama Turtle Farmer (my hubby) is about to start the printed version and I'm having a very hard time not sharing the story with him! If you enjoy reading, get the book! If you don't know how to read, get the audio...or learn to read so you can read this book!
This is necessary reading; in our society it is far too easy to ignore the plight of the oppressed & hurting in the world, because we've got comforts and distractions at every turn. Gorging ourselves on these comforts, we whine & complain over our "trials" while the real sufferers are desperate for help & an advocate. Thanks to Mr. Wayne for challenging anyone who will listen to stand for the outcasts among us, & for being vulnerable enough to open up his own story, so that we might understand more fully. May God be honored & may His love be lived out in a manner worthy of Christ.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Jimmy Wayne about a week ago. I started asking him a few personal questions about his life, he graciously answered a couple and then simply said "Read the book". Best piece of advice I've received in a long time. Thank you Jimmy, for all you've done and continue to do!!
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