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The Awakening of HK Derryberry is the inspiring true story of how Jim Bradford willingly stepped out of his comfortable world and into the life of HK Derryberry, a young boy with multiple disabilities and a bleak future. This book chronicles their enduring sixteen-year friendship and the discovery of HK's remarkable gift of memory.
Destined not just to steal but also warm your heart, Jim and HK's story reminds us that every life has a sacred purpose, and beauty and joy are found when we invest in the lives of others.
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)|
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2017 Audie Winner: Inspirational/Faith-Based Non-Fiction Audiobook and Earphones Award from Audiofile Magazine
The Awakening of HK Derryberry is the inspiring story of how one man was willing to step out of his upper middle-class world into the life of a young, disabled boy with a dismal future. Little did Jim Bradford know the transformational potential of that friendshipfor HK and himself.
HK Derryberry came into the world with the odds stacked heavily against him. He was taken from his unmarried mothers womb three months prematurely when she was killed in a car wreck. After ninety-six days of seesawing between life and death, HKs grandmother took him home.
One Saturday morning Jim Bradford, a successful businessman in his mid-fifties, happens into Mrs. Winners Chicken and Biscuits and sees a nine-year-olds head pressed down against a black plastic boom box with a crooked antenna and three strips of silver duct tape stretched across the battery cover. He cant help but notice the long, white plastic braces on each of the childs legs. Mr. Bradford learns that HKs grandmother is forced to bring him to the fast-food restaurant where she works, leaving him to sit alone all day at a small table, with only his boom box for company. On subsequent Saturdays Jim feels drawn back to the restaurant to meet with HK and begins spending every weekend with him.
Eventually it becomes apparent that buried beneath HKs severe disabilities is one spectacular ability. He is diagnosed with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM), which involves superlative powers of recollection that enable him to remember everything that has happened to him since the age of three. Less than one hundred people have been diagnosed with HSAM, but none of them have the physical disabilities of HK Derryberry.
Andy Hardin has known Jim Bradford over twenty-five years through church and was part of his Saturday morning tennis group when Jim first met HK. Jim introduced Andy to HK early in their friendship, and he closely followed their adventures throughout the years. After reading Jims treasured tales of HKs many anecdotes, Andy offered his help to further develop the story. Andy is a retired attorney living in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Connie.
Vicki WAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5The Awakening of HK DerryberryOctober 1, 2017Vicki WAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Awakening of HK Derryberry by Jim Bradford with Andy Hardin, published by W Publishing Group, An Imprint of Thomas Nelson
If you are in need of seeing how God works in the lives of His children, then this is a must read. Through laughter and tears, the story of how Jim Bradford met and came to love and be a father figure to HK Derryberry is woven into a great story that covers many years of the amazing relationship between a senior citizen and a young boy who is blind, has cerebral palsy, and many other health issues.
The two met when Jim one day, for no apparent reason, turned in the opposite direction he usually went to stop for coffee, and ended up at a restaurant where HK's grandmother worked. Because it was a weekend, and HK could not stay at home alone while grandmother Pearl worked, he was found every Saturday at a corner table, an old boom box playing as he listened to pastors preaching and sports. Jim was drawn to speak to HK and the friendship was born. What followed became weekly Saturday visits, then visits to the Bradford home, then going to church with the Bradfords to outings in the area and ultimately to schools, and other places where the two friends were invited to give talks.
Limited by his physical issues, HK continues to push forward with faith and courage and learns to read Brail with his one working hand, attend high school and prepare for college. He developed from a shy young boy into an outgoing young man with an unbelievable memory and a sense of humor that kept people laughing. Because of his late start in school, his small size and physical limitations, he was behind in years from those of his own age, but that never stopped him. Through his friendship with Jim, he gained the male role model he needed since his own father was more out of the picture than in, and Jim gained a son he'd never had.
Be prepared to learn about the life, the struggles and the courage people with physical, emotional and mental limitations have. Be prepared to see how God works through it all to bring joy into the lives of those who trust Him.
**Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for the purpose of writing a book review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5A well written inspirational storySeptember 28, 2017bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5In the fall of 1999, middle aged Bradford noticed a special needs boy sitting at the restaurant table by himself. HK, nine years old, would sit there for hours while his grandmother worked at the restaurant cash register. Bradford stopped to talk to the boy and became the victim of the biggest thief in town. "...HK Derryberry had committed the perfect crime: he stole my heart." (12)
What follows is a touching story of Bradford getting to know HK and helping him navigate life. He found out HK's background, his being born blind and with cerebral palsy, and how he came to be taken care of by his grandmother. Bradford and Hardin do a good job of writing the story in a way that captivated me. I felt like I was right there in the story.
For me, the best parts of the book were when HK gave inspirational talks to others. He would explain that he had a number of disabilities. "But those things do not stop me from dreaming, and when I dream, I always dream big," he told a sports team. (165) He admonished them to dream big too. And in an inspirational speech at a private academy, "I've never had a negative attitude. I've always been blind and had cerebral palsy, and there is nothing I can do about it." (177) He quoted the apostle Paul saying he could do all things in Christ. HK concluded that he knew he had quite a few physical capabilities. "...I chose to concentrate on those rather than my limitations." (177) My word! What an inspiration for us all!
I highly recommend this book as a very good account of an unusual friendship and of overcoming life's challenges. HK concentrated on his abilities, never giving up on himself. Yes, HK had a friend who helped him meet sports stars and go on adventures. But that is an important message for the rest of us. We are to never give up on those with disabilities. This book is clear. Together we can conquer adversity.
Food for thought: "If I can do all these things with my disabilities, then surely you can do them since most of you are not disabled." (179)
Kendra4 Stars Out Of 5heartwarmingSeptember 24, 2017KendraQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4This heartwarming memoir tells the story of the unlikely friendship between a middle age man who "had it all" and a young boy facing significant physical disabilities. A chance meeting one Saturday morning has resulted in a mutual, life-long friendship and many opportunities as a motivational speaking team. I was impressed by HK's cheerful, enthusiastic approach to life in spite of the difficult hurdles he had to face. I'm sure this is one of the primary reasons his story has made such impact on the people he encounters. I was also inspired once again by how God orchestrates seemingly inconsequential events, in this case a craving for a cup of coffee, to accomplish his purposes and how following His leading brings unexpected joy and blessing.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review.
browngirl4 Stars Out Of 5Inspirational true storySeptember 10, 2017browngirlQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4the Awakening of HK Derryberry is an inspirational true story of an unlikely friendship between Jim Bradford, a successful business executive, and an awkward nine year old boy, HK Derryberry, with multiple disabilities. Their chance encounter turned into a lifelong friendship, spanning sixteen years. HKs positive attitude despite his blindness, cerebral palsy, desertion by his father and meager lifestyle touched Jim as they began spending Saturday afternoons and soon, every weekend together. HKs unique disposition began to touch even bigger circles as Jim and HKs unusual friendship became noticed by the community around them. Read this book and youll be encouraged by how one blind boy awakened a world of possibilities to those around him, despite his own shortcomings.
Note: This book was provided to me at no cost by the publisher, in exchange for an authentic review of the book.
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