Book Review of
Walk To Beautiful
Imagine yourself a thirteen-year-old hundreds of miles away from home, in a strange city, and your mom leaves you at a bus station parking lot and drives off into the night with her lover.
That’s the real life story of country music star Jimmy Wayne. It’s a miracle that Jimmy survived being hungry and homeless, bouncing in and out of the foster care system, and sleeping in the streets. But he didn’t just overcome great adversity in his life; he now uses his country music platform to help children everywhere, especially teenagers in foster care who are about to age out of the system.
Walk to Beautiful is the powerfully emotive account of Jimmy’s horrendous childhood and the love shown him by Russell and Bea Costner, the elderly couple who gave him a stable home and provided the chance to complete his education. Jimmy says of Bea, “She changed every cell in my body.”
It also chronicles Jimmy’s rise to fame in the music industry and his Meet Me Halfway campaign: his walk halfway across America, 1,700 miles from Nashville to Phoenix, to raise awareness for foster kids. Join Jimmy on his walk to beautiful and see how one person really can make a difference.
This is a good, but tough read. It shares part of America that most people do not want to admit exists. We often look over seas, at third world countries, and see pain, suffering, poverty, and abuse, but we over look it in our own neighborhoods and cities.
It is not that we can’t see it, it is often that we choose not to. The reality is that most of us, me included, don’t take the time to see what goes on around us. This book forces you to see it. It leaves a view in your mind that is hard to forget. This book is one of the toughest books that I have read in a long time. This is one of those books that will stick with me. I don’t remember where I first heard about this book. I think someone may have mentioned something about it on Facebook or Instagram. As soon as I read a little about the book, I knew I had to read it. And I am so glad that I did. I am also glad that Jimmy Wayne was willing to share his story.
So many people hide from where they come from. Jimmy Wayne doesn’t. Sharing a story like his takes courage and I am thankful he choose to share it. This book was a tough, but good read for me because my mom grew up in and out of foster care. Her life was similar in many ways to how Jimmy Wayne grew up, which is why this book was a tough read for me. My mom was born in the late 1940’s. Jimmy Wayne was born in the early 1970’s. Jimmy Wayne is my age, not my mom’s. He grew up in a different generation, yet over and over again I felt like I was reading my mom’s story as I was reading Jimmy Wayne’s. No their stories are not exactly the same. There are a lot of differences, but so much of their stories are the same. Growing up in foster care, in and out of the system, gives you a life few can understand. This book helped me understand more about that life. It is not a book that everyone will enjoy, but it was well worth the read. This book deals with some touch subjects in detail, so again it was not an easy read or one I would recommend for kids, but I am so glad I read it.