- Hardcover: 380 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 14, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0849922100
- ISBN-13: 978-0849922107
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,172 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way Hardcover – October 14, 2014
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About the Author
Jimmy Wayne is a former foster kid turned country music singer/songwriter whose songs, story, and walk halfway across America in 2010 continue to help bring awareness to kids who age out of the foster system and become homeless. He earned the prestigious “Million-Air Award” for receiving one million radio spins of his song "Do You Believe Me Now." He is the author of Walk to Beautiful, his New York Times best-selling memoir, and the author of the novel and made-for-TV movie Paper Angels. Jimmy lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
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As you can imagine, Jimmy has MANY stories to tell. Co-author Ken Abraham has taken this collection of harsh and sometimes humorous stories and masterfully written and arranged them to poignantly tell Jimmy’s story in a way that keeps the pages turning.
The first half of the book details Jimmy’s childhood of abuse and abandonment. It will make you angry and break your heart. You will also get a sense of what so many kids experience in America at the hands of those who are supposed to love and take care of them. You will get a glimpse at foster care from someone who lived it. You will feel hungry, abandoned, scared, desperate, unwanted, homeless. You will find yourself asking, “How could this kid possibly survive?” “How did he grow up to be successful?”
The answers to those questions are found in the second half of the book. Here you meet Bea and Russell Costner and see what the power of love can do for even the most discouraged and angry child/teenager. There were others too, who helped Jimmy overcome the chaos of his difficult past, and they are all mentioned with great appreciation for their part in his life. But Bea is the ONE who invited Jimmy into her home for as long as HE wanted to stay. The love Bea had for Jimmy, and he for her, comes through beautifully in these pages as does the enormous gratitude Jimmy feels toward Bea for the prayers and encouragement she gave him to find a dream and chase it. That dream was music.
Reading about Jimmy catching his dream of writing songs and becoming a Country Music singer/musician is entertaining and often funny as Jimmy tells stories on himself, allowing the reader to experience his endearing wit and humor. These chapters also reflect how “success” to one person can mean something completely different to another.
The last part of the book demonstrates the conviction Jimmy has to never forget where he came from and to help the kids and teenagers experiencing foster care and homelessness, as he once did. On January 1, 2010, after just completing the American Saturday Night tour with Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley, Jimmy walked out of Nashville, TN on foot. Jimmy’s Meet Me Halfway project was launched with the sole intention to raise awareness to foster youth, especially those who age out of the system at age 18 without a family or other adult connections, expected to survive completely on their own. Jimmy would spend the next 7 months walking 1700 miles (halfway across America) until he reached Phoenix, AZ on July 31, 2010. Jimmy shares some of the incredible people and places, the wonderful and sometimes scary experiences, he encountered on his walk. He explains how “The Walk” forever changed him. After reading these pages, you will fully understand how serious and dedicated this man is in helping these kids, and why he needs your help.
WALK TO BEAUTIFUL is written in a way to give hope to youth or adults struggling to survive or find their way in the world. It’s also written to inspire those looking for more purpose in life, those needing a push to take that next step toward helping others. For anyone involved with foster children in any way, this book offers great insight into their world. This is a book about faith and trust in God, even when it seems He is gone. It’s about finding the peace of forgiveness, no matter how badly you’ve been wronged.
I believe WALK TO BEAUTIFUL (The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way) will help many “find the way”. I believe more people will realize they too can “be somebody” and make a difference in the life of a child or teen that needs just ONE person to care. I BEAlieve many will open their hearts and WALK TO BEAUTIFUL with Jimmy.
I encourage everyone to read WALK TO BEAUTIFUL and see where it leads them.
Tennessee State Representative Mark White
Two people who lived their Christian faith (rather than just talking) set the young man they took in on the path to responsible adulthood and a faith filled life. Today, as an adult we see the results of their efforts. He is a country music star but he has not forgotten the rough years....the homeless, hungry, shelterless years when he barely survived. Jimmy knows then pain and agony that foster care children face both in an out of the system and he exposes those problems from his own life experience.
As an adult, he has undertaken the mission of confronting all of us in our comfortable existence wherever we are with the needs of most vulnerable children in our society. No child should live in some of the circumstances he has faced...so he walked across the middle of our country...step by step...to bring our attention to children who need our help, attention and nurturing. Along the way he shares his life story,,,,pain and all....this is the reality.
His music has had our attention and now his heartbreaking story will reinforce the message. His story is NOT an easy or a comfortable read but it is compelling and it leaves us with a compelling question, How can we help, what should we do and when do we start?