Judy D Collins's Reviews > Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way

Walk to Beautiful by Jimmy Wayne
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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.

However, readers may not be aware of the horrific childhood and challenges on his way to stardom and adulthood. This is like “Job”; one hurdle, obstacle, disappointment, and challenge after another, and yet Jimmy possessed the drive, talent, determination, and tenacity, even in his darkest moments; to overcome his troubled past. He was fortunate to have some people along the way who took a chance on this remarkable young man, and he desires to give back and pay forward.

I will be honest, I am not a country music fan (even though my sister who resides in NC is an avid fan). A great deal of Jimmy’s childhood took place in Gastonia, NC area, with some of the crazy people and backward views.

Wow, I had no idea the power and impact of this beautifully written and extraordinary book. The more I read, the more intrigued, I became and began reviewing Jimmy Wayne’s website, and listened to all the videos and was highly impressed.

Walk to Beautiful portrays the story of how Wayne was able to rise above his background with the help of supportive, adoptive parents as a teen, and become a successful country singer and in-demand motivational speaker.

The book takes you from Jimmy’s early years as a boy, left many times on the street alone by his mother, bullied by his peers, to fend for himself; growing up being passed from one foster home to another, with neglect and abuse, tortured, with no food or place to live, or sleep. However, a woman and the man took him in and taught him about love, music, and living.

When you look at this highly talented musician, good-looking guy, today, and listen to his beautiful words and songs, it is hard to believe the rough road he has traveled. Through his determination, he has not let his past define him, nor his future; however, has used his humble and troubled past to help others going through similar experiences.

Jimmy dedicated the book, his life story to Bea, a wonderful 75-year old woman who took him in when he was 16 years old, after a voice told him to stop and see if she needed help with her yard work. Bea and Russell later asked him to move in and were instrumental in turning Jimmy’s life around. Bea who passed always in 1997, 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.

From 2010 when Jimmy walked from Nashville to Phoenix on his Meet Me Halfway campaign, he set out to raise awareness for foster youth who have aged out of the system. The walk in itself helped stem the idea to document certain thoughts and memories, which led to the birth of Walk to Beautiful.

“Thirty Thousand kids every year age out of the foster care system the moment they turn eighteen. Many of them will become homeless, addicted, or imprisoned. Some will never see their twenty-first birthdays. I knew I wanted to help those kids the way somebody had helped me. But how?”


Walk to Beautiful is an inspiring and remarkable book. It does not read like a non-fiction or memoir. As an avid reader of over 350 books a year, a professional reader and blogger—Trust me, this is a story you cannot put down! It is so shocking, you feel as though this has to be fiction. How could any one person survive this life?

On a Personal Note: I formerly served as a Board Member for an organization in Atlanta for at-risk teens, YES Atlanta (Youth Experiencing Success) and support adults who strive to help these youth, by providing positive role models, and resources in order to change their environment, with an opportunity to lead healthy and rich lives as an adults.

Even though the story will bring you to tears, there are many parts which are witty and humorous. I especially loved the parts about growing up in the south. He had such bad role models when it came to Christianity, with the distorted views of church, beliefs, and hypocrisy. It was refreshing to learn he did not lose his faith, through all of this, when he finally got to see firsthand from Bea what faith and love really means.

I highly recommend this beautifully written and inspiring book, and well deserving of 5 stars. It will change you. Nashville and country music fans will love all the stars, names, mentions, and tidbits. Foster children and troubled youth, will find hope and joy in these words, for the future.

Congrats, Jimmy, thanks for putting yourself out there, with courage and bravery to tell your story, and relive your past, forgive those who turned their back on you, and share with others while making a difference in lives across the world.

JDCMustReadBooks
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Reading Progress

May 30, 2014 – Shelved
May 30, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
May 30, 2014 – Shelved as: 2014-releases
June 26, 2014 – Shelved as: netgalley-arc
September 12, 2014 – Started Reading
September 12, 2014 –
page 75
September 13, 2014 –
page 100
"Incredible!!"
September 15, 2014 –
page 300
"Inspiring!"
September 16, 2014 – Shelved as: memoir
September 16, 2014 – Shelved as: non-fiction
September 16, 2014 – Shelved as: country-music
September 16, 2014 – Shelved as: jimmy-wayne
September 16, 2014 – Shelved as: books-read-in-2014
September 23, 2014 – Shelved as: autobiograhy
September 23, 2014 – Shelved as: nashville
September 23, 2014 – Shelved as: north-carolina
September 23, 2014 – Shelved as: foster-care
October 7, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Carole (new) - added it

Carole Judy, you know my reading likes so well! This sounds perfect! Thanks!


Judy D Collins Great! I always enjoy hearing your thoughts. I need more hours in the day, too as catching up on reviews.


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