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Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  3,595 ratings  ·  465 reviews
Imagine being thirteen, in a strange city, hundreds of miles away from home, and your mom abandons you at a bus station, driving off into the night with her lover.

It's a miracle Jimmy Wayne survived his growing-up years. Hungry, homeless, and bouncing in and out of the foster care system, Jimmy spent more nights wandering and sleeping in the streets than he cares to
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published (first published October 7th 2014)
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donna barr We're reading this title in my book club. I scoured online but only found lists of questions for nonfiction books in general. If you search this on…moreWe're reading this title in my book club. I scoured online but only found lists of questions for nonfiction books in general. If you search this on Google, you'll find some pretty good lists. Here is one:
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  3,595 ratings  ·  465 reviews

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Start your review of Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way
For those of you who know me, know that I am an avid reader & love losing myself in someone else's fictional story that has been written for our entertainment. However, over the past couple of days, I have found myself reading a VERY humbling & eye opening non-fiction account of some pretty horrific events that took place in a little boy's life. This boy who after years of rejection by the people who were supposed to love him most & moving from home to home, eventually becoming ...more
Judy Collins
A special thank you to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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—one which will forever change your life!

Jimmy Wayne is known for his altruistic and giving heart. In the country music industry, he is known for his songwriting, and hit songs, while being supported by his many fans, worldwide.
May 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I'd heard of Jimmy Wayne before. I was a big fan of his first album and especially of his song "Paper Angels", but I am an even bigger fan now. Hearing his story...the troubled childhood...the ups and downs in really understand that the songs he writes...and sings, are not just stories, but are instead his life.

This took me a bit longer to read than I expected. It wasn't because the book wasn't good, it was because it was so deep. My heart ached so often...I cried even..that
Vivian Herrero
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It was written from the heart, every single word. It is an undeniable lesson to learn Jimmy's story of his terrible childhood years, the abuse and neglect he suffered and still see how he rose triumphant with forgiveness and love in his heart!
Shirley Anderson
Walk to beautiful is a most powerful book that will make you cry and laugh and love what Bea and Russell Costner has done for Jimmy. I cried when he cried and wanted to reach in the book to comfort him and tell him it will be alright. Being a mother of an adopted child I know the heart ache that goes with it. My son was 9 mo. old when we adopted him. He and his three sisters where abandon by their mother. She never bonded with her son. Her social life was more important to her than her children. ...more
Holly Haze
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never heard of Jimmy Wayne before this book. I wish I could call him friend. What a phenomenal auto-biography. It was impossible to put down and incredibly humbling to read. He overcame unthinkable life events to get to this fame he's achieved. This one will stick with me forever. Truly inspiring. I want to meet this man now.
Nadine Keels
Oct 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When, Jimmy?... When will you do anything to help someone other than yourself?

If it takes nothing else, it takes courage to write something like Walk to Beautiful, country music star Jimmy Wayne's personal account of childhood hunger and homelessness, abuse and neglect, his experiences in foster care, and his (oftentimes humbling) rise in the music industry.

I couldn't read Wayne's story without reacting physically at times, whether that was gasping, cringing, laughing, or blinking back a few
Jan 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It probably surprises nobody that I'm not really into Country music and therefore didn't know who Jimmy Wayne was before picking up this book. I got totally sucked in by the first half of the narrative (the sad story of Wayne's disastrous childhood and subsequent time spent bouncing through the foster care system), but the second half of the book -- since I don't really have any special interest in the Country music industry -- was a bit of a yawn. The last teeny section deals with the walk ...more
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book contained obnoxious product placement and was written for about 6th graders. Honestly, if he mentioned coca-cola one more time, I was going to put the book down. That said, I did find the story of Jimmy Wayne compelling. That's why I hung with the book. I admire someone who overcomes...and this man overcame so much. Probably should stick to singing...the book writing is a bit drab. If you're looking for a quick read and want to learn more about the foster care system, this is an ...more
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
This is an incredible story, the first person account of Jimmy Wayne's life experiences, crafted together beautifully with the assistance of writer Ken Abraham. The horrendous events and harmful relationships in Jimmy's childhood are enough to rattle any reader. Knowing that he not only survives but devotes himself to helping other children in the foster care system, gives the reader the momentum to continue reading.

This is a long book, not a quick read. It is well-written, and documented with
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.25. No child should have to endure a childhood like Jimmy and Patricia's. It's unimaginable... but I loved the message of resilience and forgiveness and how one person can make all the difference in the life of a child. That being said, the writing of this story was fragmented and tough to follow. After reading this book-I can say I'm a fan of Jimmy and what he's doing with his life but I'm not a fan of the writing in this book.
Jun 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this book - not because of the horrible childhood the author endured but because of how resilient and unstoppable his spirit is.
Devon H
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you’re anything like me, prepare to have this book hit you in the feels. I’m not overly drawn to country music or country stars, but I knew Jimmy Wayne’s tale would be something special to me.

Although I am not a former foster kid, I have a connection to foster care in that the first meaningful service experience I had was with a retail store that tailored its retail experience around helping foster kids. Recently, I wrote a policy advocacy paper for a foster care bill presented to the North
Harriet Smith
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I received an advance copy of this title through NetGalley, and am very appreciative for that.

Walk to Beautiful is a moving, true story of a boy in foster care and many horrible situations, who grows up in spite of the system. He becomes a country music singer and gives back to the community by raising awareness of foster care issues. Not knowing any of the backstory or future outcomes, I was very pleased when this book not only held my attention but also walked me through Jimmy Wayne's
Robin Wasson
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jimmy Wayne 's story is one of the most moving and captivating tales that it is impossible to put down. I have followed this man through his soulful singing career for the last 11 years. His continuous love and devotion for his fan followers and more important the foster children of our country is amazing and to be commended. A true blessing to experience. I love the book. Thank you JW. Another job well done.
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd say one of the best books I've read this year. So much more than a biography of an artist, but a deep look into homelessness and our foster care system. A brutally honest and inspiring read. And one of the things I liked most was that in spite of all he went through he never lost his faith in Jesus. What a remarkable man.
Nathan Albright
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review.]

It is clear from the opening lines that the memoir of country singer-songwriter Jimmy Wayne is an immensely dark one: "I sat sullen and shirtless toward the end of the day, alone in my room at the country home where Mama and her fourth or fifth husband had dumped me. My biological dad had left when I was a toddler, and Mama had already abandoned me several times as well. I'd lost
Deborah B. Yurick
This book had a great message. I was fascinated with the ability of the author to put voice to childhood trauma, and to find a mission for his life. I felt at times like I was reading a journal that was exited to make a book, as in journaling it became a bit repetitive.

Andrea Tilley
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I read it in less than 4 days because I just couldn’t put it down. The authors life from a very young age is chaotic and always changing. He is left to fend for himself much of the time. He’s abandoned and mistreated. This is an incredible story of how he’s come this far. After reading this, I downloaded his music and listened to some of his songs. It’s all just beautiful. I’ll be sharing this book and story with everyone.
Gwen Bentley
I LOVE to read. In recent years, my reading has been via audio books and I consume...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 ...more
If you know me, you know how much I love a good survival story. This isn't quite Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II or Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage, but I do consider it a survival story nevertheless, and it's similarly uplifting.

Jimmy Wayne's story prompted me to have a serious conversation with my patient and abiding husband about foster parenting. I remember being just as moved by White Oleander, but though I was certain
Rakhi Jayashankar
I generally don't post the review of books by legends. I feel that I am not qualified to judge them. Here I am in a dilemma. Should I review this book or not? Since I got the review copy, I ought to. Hence I am posting this review.

Autobiography of Jimmy Wayne. With this single sentence, the review could be done. Great language, touching events and what not. The book made me realize that truth is stranger than fiction. If it were a fictional story I would have written off as a story with too much
Boundless Book Reviews
I grabbed this on Audiable for a road trip without knowing anything about the story, or who Jimmy Wayne is. Well, I know all about him now; I’ve heard all his songs, and read everything I could find about him online. As a foster parent, Wayne’s story really touched my heart. I had no idea a “hero” like this existed for my kids; I’m happy to have found one. I’m sure I will own all his CD’s soon; these kids really need someone like Jimmy Wayne to look up to, and I will be honored to get to ...more
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing memoir- I'd recommend this book to anyone. I had the privilege of seeing Jimmy Wayne in a small concert setting, where he told many of these heartbreaking stories in vivid detail and played the songs inspired by the stories. I was counting the days til I could read the whole book. You can't make this stuff up, people. It's unbelievable that a kid with such an uphill battle in life beat all odds to have a music career that led to having a platform for those who can't speak for ...more
Kristen Dunder
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a CASA, I was very interested in reading this memoir by country music star Jimmy Wayne (who is also National Spokesperson for CASA). It was a beautiful story of Jimmy's rise from a tumultuous childhood with an absent father, unpredictable mother, abusive stepfather, and time spent in and out of foster and group a successful career in music and an advocate for foster kids himself. In 2010, Jimmy decided to walk halfway across America, from a foster care advocacy center in Nashville, ...more
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I can not imagine any child going through what Jimmy endured. I am a mother myself and would have gone to the ends of the Earth to provide a loving and safe environment for my child. I was appalled by his mothers behaviors and sense of priorities. He endured years of both physical and psychological abuse by those who are supposed to love him the most and yet came out on the other side with the ability to both love and forgive them... That is POWERFUL! (His goal has been and continues to be ...more
Chris Auer
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really wish i could give this book 10 stars. Reading about Jimmy Wayne's life story, and how he essentially gave up a life of being a famous musician to achieve bigger goals and use his platform to help those in need is just amazing. There needs to be more Jimmy Wayne's in this world, just like Bea was to him.

For those from the Charlotte area, he came from the Gastonia area. If there is 1 book that you read all year, I encourage everyone to read this book. I could not put this book down. Go
Jennifer Brock
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing story. A must read. Jimmy overcame a childhood of neglect, abuse & abandonment after finding unconditional love from strangers. They showed him that there are good people in the world & that he can make a difference in others' lives. He gave up fame & fortune in the country music industry to help raise awareness about America's foster care system. What a tremendous example he is for others. I also highly recommend his story "Paper Angels" about how the Salvation Army's Angel ...more
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love a well-written story about someone who has overcome abuse and neglect as a child and gone on to be an inspiration. This is the true story of a boy who had some pretty powerful guardian angels, who found a good foster home with people that nurtured and encouraged him and who, with many set backs, trials and tribulations, became a country music star. He later went on a walk across half of America to raise awareness of the foster care system, and became an advocate for foster children. ...more
Monica Hutchison
I had the amazing opportunity of seeing Jimmy Wayne in concert at my school district's back to school convocation. After hearing his story in person, I knew I had to read this book. You will find yourself physically and audibly responding as you take this journey alongside Jimmy Wayne. It is only by the grace of God that Jimmy is the man he is today. His stories are bone-chilling and you will feel called into action in some way, shape, or form. This is an absolute must read!
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ACPL Online Book ...: Walk to Beautiful-May 2 5 May 08, 2018 11:43AM  

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