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A Hand to Guide Me
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A Hand to Guide Me

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  336 ratings  ·  59 reviews
A Hand to Guide Me
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by Meredith Books (first published November 1st 2005)
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Denzel Washington is my favorite actor. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised to know that he has written a book paying tribute to the people that made an impact on his life. This book is more about the lessons that he learned growing up, the trials he had to overcome and how he remain tenacious to overcome every obstacle. Usually books like this is only about the author but this book was more about different people from diverse professions such as celebrities, musicians, actors, athletes, ...more
Debora Ryan
This book of inspirational essays continually impressed me, so much so that I want it for my classroom. It's perfect for teaching the personal essay, and they can even be analyzed for the more complex organizational structures I prefer to teach.

The anthology opens with an introduction from Denzel Washington, and it closes that way as well. I've always loved his voice, and as I read, I could hear it clearly in my head. Though it's mostly about The Boys and Girls Club of America, the stories are
Total inspiration - Shows Denzel's compassion and heart for others. And his gratefulness for those who came along side him in life's journey.
I was okay but towards the end all the essays seemed to be repeats. I was struck by how many successful people came for very humble beginnings.
Joanna Coleman
I have just enjoyed reading this book by Denzel my favorite actor!! I loved the fact of this book interjecting that a lot of times you do get help to make it to your destiny in life. It is filled with many motivational short stories from and about famous individuals writing about the people who made a difference in their lives. It reminds me of my athletic teacher in grammar school who encouraged me and told me that I do anything if I put my mind to it.... Loved the book and it has definitely fo ...more
Not the most exciting book ever.

This is just a compilation of short (super short stories) written by famous and/or successful people about the people who influenced their lives most.

Taken as a whole, it's pretty boring. But if you read the stories one at a time, maybe as a bathroom reader or a daily desk calendar, they are interesting and inspiring.
Very short essays from a variety of famous people writing about who has helped, motivated and inspired them.
Jodi Papazian
This book is broken down into different essays by prominent figures in the sports and entertainment world. Each one remembers a person who positively influenced their life. Denzel Washington, the official spokesperson for the Boys & Girls Club of America, remembers a staff member from his local BGC that helped shape him early on in life and many of the other contributors to the book also remember a BGC staff.

It's a nice book to read. It makes you think about someone who helped influence your
Michael Weaver
This book is a compilation of personal stories about the people who have mentored some of the best, brightest and more notable people in America. Washington recounts his personal story with Bob Stone, whose letter of recommendation gave him the confidence he needed to make it in life. I found this book to be very inspiring and would be a great read for those in high school. There are a lot stories of people who belonged to a Boys and Girls club and more than 50% of the profits go to help the Boy ...more
This had a good intent and concept of sharing stories written by other celebrities, comedians, athletes, and people in the public eye with their positive message and who influenced, or made an impact on their lives to become who they are today. I thought the book was about Denzel and his life; so I scanned through the stories and can be great for those seeking influence, positive messages, and more...but not for me.

*I love to see Debbie Allen in the book! Kerry Washington, Ruben Studdard, and a
The idea behind this book is great - interview famous people to learn about the person (people) who really made an impact on their lives and helped shape them into the person they are today.
In execution, this fell short for me. The stories tended to be too short, giving you only a brief glimpse rather than a more in-depth understanding. I would have rather had fewer famous people in the book with richer details and storytelling. Good idea Denzel, but next time go for quality instead of quantity.
Feb 02, 2014 Carla added it
Inspiring and insightful.
Aug 21, 2008 Nicole rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who works with youth
A friend of mine from Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Frank Sanchez, coordinated this book with Denzel, national spokesperson for Boys & Girls Clubs. The book centers around adults and Club alumni who attribute their successes to mentors, such as Boys & Girls Clubs staff and volunteers. This is such a great form of recognition for those who have dedicated their careers to impacting at-risk youth and a great reminder of how we can all make a difference in the life of a child.
The collection of contributors to this book is astounding and I doubt that there is a person who couldn't find someone's that isn't an interesting read. Many of the 'hands' are predictable in that folks talk about their parents. However, there are times when another mentor is mentioned and it simply reinforces the concept that one never knows who is watching and how they will appreciate you or what you do.
This is a collection of essays describing the person who has most impacted their life. Some of the authors are famous or rich but many are normal, average men and women. Many of the mentors are parents, siblings, and teachers. However, some mentors are a person who went to extraordinary lengths to help guide a better future. This book describes how an ordinary person can positively influence another person.
Susan Burger
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories about the people who made an impact on Denze's life. He has been my favorite actor for a long time, not only for his acting skills, but the man he is. It is a great book to have on hand and read a story or two at a time. Also as another person commented, it would be a good resource to share with your students.
THis book is a compilation of stories that seems to have been put together as a means to increase awareness for the Boys and Girls Club of America. I enjoyed most of the personal testimonies, but there really wasn't a unifying theme, it appeared as if some people had their arms twisted to write something, and that is all they did, they wrote something...
This is a collection of essays by various people (famous and non-famous) describing the mentors in their lives. Denzel Washington writes only the first and last chapters so anyone expecting more from him will be disappointed. Some of the essays are inspirational although I do not suggest trying to read this book straight through.
Vickie T
A collection of short essays by a collection o legends and leaders who share who gave them a hand and gave the the inspiration to get to where they are today. The collection included a lot of athletes and most seemed to have had the Boys and Girls Clubs of America as a common thread running through the essays. It was a so so read.
Tim Philippi
Jul 18, 2007 Tim Philippi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: yes
We all have general themes in all of our lives.
Simple things:
Type of environment where we grew up
Challenges in our lives.

Its nice to read what people went through to get to where they are at today.
Some of the stories have great insight and others are there to tell you its possible.
this was a collection of short essays by famous individuals. The focus was how another person had guided their lives. Some were interesting, many were poorly written, but it definitely made me see the value of the Boys and Girls Club because that organization has touched the lives of many people!
Sleepless G
I picked this book up today at the library believe it or not, a Physical Book! Ha Ha And I will finish it today. It's one of those books that exciet you so that you cannot put it down. It's a bout Good people doing Good and finding Good! Read it! Some might find it trite but to me it is inspiring.
Maria Caplin
I got this book for Christmas and I have just enjoyed reading it!! It is filled with many small motivational stories from famous people and who made a difference in their life. I bet you already know this but many of the important people are teachers!
I even shared a few stories with my class.
I like the idea that we all have someone in our lives that shape us and who we will become. I liked the positive undertone and even respect Denzel Washington in lots of ways, but not real supportive of some of the people that were so called "leaders" or "legends" in the book.
Michael Glover
Jun 09, 2008 Michael Glover rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
This was a very good book! I was encouraged and touched by the stories that these now celebrities went through growing up. It just comes to show, regardless of situations and circumstances that we all face in life; you can still overcome and be the best if you never give up.
Oct 18, 2007 Patrick rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Different celebrities tell of the people who made a difference in their lives. when I finnished reading i wrote about my Father and the difference he made in mine. a different story in ths book should be read to middle school children each day. praises to Denzel Washington.
I always love hearing other peoples stories and especially the ones that surprise me... This book is filled with many stories meant to inspire and uplift. I gravitated toward the stories of people that I knew and saved the others for last. :) It's a good read!
~Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.

A collection of inspiring real life stories of great minds. I really liked President Bill Clinton's part. Fun, sad and great life accords.
Mar 02, 2007 Sandy added it
Recommends it for: all
Denzel Washington is the national spokesperson for the Boys and Girls Club. He found famous friends and athletes to tell stories about how an adult mentor taught them a life long lesson. The proceeds from the book go to support the Boys and Girls Club.
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Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. is an American actor and director. He has garnered much critical acclaim for his work in film since the 1990s, including his portrayals of real-life figures, such as Steve Biko, Malcolm X, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, Melvin B. Tolson, Frank Lucas, and Herman Boone.

Washington has been awarded three Golden Globe awards and two Academy Awards for his work. He is notable as
More about Denzel Washington...
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“At the end of the day, it's not about what you have or even what you've accomplished. It's about what you've done with those accomplishments. Its about who you've lifted up, who you've made better. It about what you've given back" (23).” 56 likes
“What it taught me was forgiveness. It taught me that when people present themselves in a certain way, there's probably some back story or issue or reason for the way that they are. It's not you. It's them. And a lot of times, its about something that's completely out of their control” 34 likes
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