I really didn’t have expectations when I picked up this book, but Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way is a poignant and inspiring account of Jimmy Wayne’s journey, written by Jimmy Wayne and Ken Abraham and was definitely a great read.
In the music industry Jimmy Wayne is known for his songwriting and hit songs. In particular, I know him from songs such as “Stay Gone” and “Do You Believe Me Now”. He is also known for his altruistic and giving heart but what people do not know is the story of his horrible childhood and the challenges he overcame on his way to stardom and adulthood. Jimmy Wayne had the drive, determination, and tenacity to overcome his troubled past, even in his darkest moments. He also had the luck (or grace?) to have people who took a chance on him, for which he continues to give back and pay it forward.
In his book, Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way, Jimmy tells his story to bring awareness about kids who age out of the foster care system and as a result, then become homeless. Jimmy shares his early years as a boy with readers, when his mother would leave him out on the street alone. He was bullied and often left to fend for himself. He grew up being passed from one foster home to another, often suffering neglect, torture and abuse along the way, with no food or place to live, or sleep.
I am a woman in recovery and my son would probably tell you that he didn’t have a perfect life in his early years, but overall, he was well provided for and knew he was loved. I can’t even imagine being the kind of mother that it seems Jimmy had, and I’m very grateful to know that there are people like Bea and her husband that just follow their heart and do what is right.
When Jimmy was 16 years old, he says a voice told him to stop and see if a woman, Bea, needed help with her yard work. Bea, a wonderful 75-year old woman and her husband, Russell, later asked Jimmy to move in with them and were instrumental in helping turn Jimmy’s life around. Bea passed always in 1997, but will always be in his heart, and now Jimmy is giving back to the community to help other foster children, who have nowhere to turn. He dedicates this book to Bea as well.
As a Christian, it was sad to see that Jimmy had such bad role models when it came to Christianity, resulting in distorted views of church, beliefs, and hypocrisy. I was so relieved to read that he did not lose his faith in Jesus through all of this, and through his relationship with Bea he was able to learn about what faith and love really means.
About the Author: Jimmy Wayne is a former foster kid turned country music singer/songwriter whose songs and story highlight his mission to bring awareness to kids who age out of the foster system and become homeless. In 2010, Jimmy walked halfway across America to raise awareness for these kids. He won the millionaire award for having 100,000,000 radio spins in America of his song “Do You Believe Me Now”, is the author of the novel, Paper Angels, and is the national spokesperson for CASA.
Ken Abraham is a New York Times best-selling author known around the world for his collaborations with high-profile public figures. A former professional musician and pastor, he is a popular guest with both secular and religious media. His books include One Soldier’s Story with Bob Dole, Payne Stewart with Tracey Stewart, Falling in Love for All the Right Reasons with Dr. Neil Clark Warren, and Let’s Roll! with Lisa Beamer.
Thank you so much NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and unbiased opinion.