Walk To Beautiful: The Power of Love & a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way  -     By: Jimmy Wayne, Ken Abraham
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Walk To Beautiful: The Power of Love & a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way

W Publishing / 2014 / Hardcover

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Product Description

As a former foster kid Jimmy Wayne learned the hard way about what it meant to be on your own. It wasn't until he was adopted by Russell and Bea Costner, an elderly couple who gave him a stable home and provided the opportunities for him to thrive, that Jimmy learned his life could have love and purpose. In time he became one of the country music industry's biggest stars, winning the millionaire award for having his song "Do You Believe Me Now?" played on the radio one million times.

In Walk to Beautiful, Jimmy shares the heart-breaking and ultimately redemptive story of his difficult childhood. He also chronicles his journey in 2010 to walk halfway across America, 1700 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.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 384
Vendor: W Publishing
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0849922100
ISBN-13: 9780849922107

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Publisher's Description

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.


"If your story could use a better chapter, take inspiration from Jimmy’s." —Max Lucado, New York Times Best-Selling Author

"It reads like a movie to me, and if so, I’ll be the first one in a seat to see it." —Dolly Parton

"Walk to Beautiful will open your eyes to the hurting people around you." —Frank Harrison, Chairman and CEO, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated; Chairman and Cofounder, With Open Eyes



Author Bio

Jimmy Wayne is a former foster kid turned country music singer/songwriter whose songs, story, and walk halfway across America in 2010 continue to help bring awareness to kids who age out of the foster system and become homeless. He earned the prestigious "Million-Air Award" for receiving one million radio spins of his song "Do You Believe Me Now." He is the author of Walk to Beautiful, his New York Times best-selling memoir, and the author of the novel and made-for-TV movie Paper Angels. Jimmy lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Ken Abraham is a New York Times best-selling author known around the world for his collaborations with high-profile public figures. A former professional musician and pastor, he is a popular guest with both secular and religious media. His books include One Soldier's Story with Bob Dole, Payne Stewart with Tracey Stewart, Falling in Love for All the Right Reasons with Dr. Neil Clark Warren, and Let's Roll! with Lisa Beamer.

Product Reviews

5 Stars Out Of 5
5 out of 5
5 out Of 5
(5 out of 5)
5 out Of 5
(5 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
5 out Of 5
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Displaying items 1-5 of 6
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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    God's Faithful Hand - Fostering the Unloved {Jimmy Wayne's story}
    February 6, 2016
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    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 photographs, and a clearly stated message -- live God's love, do something for someone else, and never give up!

    Jimmy attributes his foster mother Bea Costner's love for him as the catalyst in his life. Bea and her husband were an elderly couple who took Jimmy in when he had no home, not knowing his background, but sensing his need for love and a stable home. Now Jimmy advocates for foster children in the system, urging lawmakers to keep them in the system until the age of twenty-one instead of eighteen.

    Jimmy's Meet Me Halfway campaign, in which he walked halfway across America raised awareness for foster kids who are aging out of the system. In between his childhood tales and the walk, Walk to Beautiful chronicles his entry into, and rise in, the country music industry, both performing and songwriting.

    I confess that I had not heard of Jimmy Wayne or of his famous walk before reading Walk to Beautiful. I did not read this book from the perspective of a fan of his music. The book created a desire to hear his music, especially the songs with lyrics based on his life experiences.

    This reader is duly impressed with Jimmy Wayne's testimony to God's power in his life. This is not a rags to riches story. It is the story of decades of trial and error, of dogged determination to follow his heart and to please God in so doing.

    Jimmy Wayne's ability to cope and keep going in spite of tremendous odds, abuse, and lack of consistency, not to mention a lack of love, for most of his life, speaks volumes. You might ask how a loving God could allow such a thing. By the end of the book Jimmy has come to terms with this, and the reader should too.

    I give this book a five star rating. I highly recommend it to any reader who enjoys reading about people. This is a squeaky clean read. You may not be the same person after you read it. It might just change you too.

    I received a copy of Walk to Beautiful from BookLookBloggers in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are my own.

    My rating: five stars
  2. Stone Lake, WI
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    This Amazing Story Needs to be a Movie!
    January 25, 2016
    Nellie Dee
    Stone Lake, WI
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    To write what I liked about this book is impossible without mentioning that the beginning of Jimmy's life was unfathomable. It was hard to read about and imagine how a mother could be so selfish and so cruel. It literally made me feel sick. It is horrifying that any child would be treated in such a manner. It's a nightmare that it happened at all let alone right under the noses of people in authority who could have done something. It was truly miraculous that Jimmy was somehow spared a hard heart. How he remained so tender and how he maintained his determination to do what was right is nothing short of amazing.

    I love that Jimmy rose to a place where he could have a voice, where he could be used to help other kids in such a powerful way and that he found beauty from ashes. It amazed me that he was able to develop a writing/musical career with such a late start and do it with such success.

    I loved that Jimmy wanted to write a song to encourage his sister because I can relate to that desire. It was a blessing that he was able to record it so that she could play/hear it and remember his loving support.

    This book challenged me to think about how to help approximately 2500 kids in my area. Seems like further investigation and lobbying would be in order to devise a safety net for kids. Caseworkers need to know whether the child felt safe where they had been placed. I will push for ways that our church can help kids in our area.

    This book is challenging as well as inspiring. It's a must read because there really is a problem right in our own backyards. It's inspiring because one is never too old or too young to be the hands and feet of Jesus to someone in need. This is the best autobiography I've ever read. This book needs to be made into a movie!

    Thank you Thomas Nelson and Book Look Bloggers for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
  3. pa
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Such an amazing book!
    January 28, 2015
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Wow, can you even being to imagine what it must feel like to just be abandoned along the road by your mother. How heartbreaking. Y'all already know I had tears running down my face while reading his story. My heart broke for his little heart.

    Jimmy is generous in sharing his personal details. He wrote this book in a very factual, yet optimistic way. His story is horrid, without a doubt, yet he tells it with kindness and grace. You won't be disappointed with this book at all! It sure does deliver.

    Jimmy took his life and turned it around, striving to get awareness out, about foster kids, through his courageous "Meet Me Halfway" campaign, a 1,700 mile walk from Nashville to Phoenix.

    This book was provided to me free of charge by Book Look in return for my honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
  4. Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    This book will change how you think!
    December 12, 2014
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Never before has a book had such an emotional impact on my life, except for the Bible of course. This autobiographical account of Jimmy Wayne's life resonates with me on so many levels, of which I am still trying to comprehend. From the child who desperately loved his family no matter what horror they exposed him to, to the boy with determination and endurance to survive even when discouraged and cursing the world, to the young man whose needy heart clung to the woman God put in his life to give him wings to fly, to the man who after surviving such a life and reaching great success remembers from where he came and sets out on a journey to create awareness to make a difference in the lives of foster kids.

    Jimmy Wayne is a walking testimony of God's great love for us. Jimmy has been on the receiving end and the giving end and everywhere in between. This book is as deep and wide as the ocean and as rich and pure as the love of God. No matter where you are in life, whether a believer or not, whether rich or poor, I have no doubt Walk To Beautiful will change the way you think and motivate you to make a difference either in your own life or in the lives of others.
  5. Yakima, Wa
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Hard To Put Down!
    October 31, 2014
    Yakima, Wa
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Walk to Beautiful by Jimmy Wayne and Ken Abraham

    I began this book without ever having heard of the name Jimmy Wayne; at the tail end of my foster parent journey, but by the end I was convinced that even though I knew I wouldn't continue as a foster mom, I need to continue helping kids in some capacity. I thank Jimmy Wayne for helping me come to that conclusion.

    I just have to say by the end of it, I became a Jimmy Wayne fan, and I'd never heard a single song. We have a lot in common, and no, I'm not the tiniest bit musical, but reading about his growing up years was all too familiar to me and it was a bit of a dark day as I read through. It just took me back to incidents I had wanted forgotten. We could have grown up in the same neighborhoods, it was that familiar.

    He was not just a survivor but a "thriver". We have Jesus in common, and a great passion for the fatherless and foster kids. I now consider myself a fan of his music, after having taken the time to find the songs on iTunes that he wrote about it in the book. I'm not much for country music either, but hey, they are really great songs!

    This charming and boyish guy has a big heart. He does a lot to raise funds and awareness and even helps to change laws, for foster kids. I'm so impressed with him as a person. Quite extraordinary, and it was a breath of fresh air to find another soul in this world doing good things for other people. The world could use more.

    His song Paper Angels, and the story behind it, have inspired a sweet little movie. See the trailer here

    Having been one of those kids who received gifts from a similar program at Christmas, I can attest to the difference kindness makes. Even from a stranger. I have an old picture of my little sister and me, wearing coats and holding dolls that a complete stranger bought us, next to a Christmas tree that other strangers brought to our home and decorated for us. I remember they also brought boxes of food, and to kids who sometimes had bare cupboards, that's exciting! So, this Christmas when you have an opportunity to grab a little paper angel off a Christmas tree with a child or family's name on it, grab it! I'll bet you will be blessed to be a blessing to someone who could just about use a little kindness.

    I hadn't heard of Jimmy's walk halfway across America called Meet Me Halfway probably because it got over shadowed by the earthquake in Haiti, about the same time. Check out the link, I think you will be impressed. He walked to bring awareness mainly to the foster kids who "age out" of the system at 18 and have nowhere to go.

    (Of course most of them end up homeless and then jail, on a street corner prostituting- unwillingly, dealing drugs, or dead. Who could expect differently of a kid with NOBODY? No one to call for help, no one to send them a birthday card, or set a seat at their table at Thanksgiving for them...nobody to care if they live or die. This has been a soapbox of mine, having a cousin who aged out. My sister and I were also in foster care for a while, and other of my relatives. This really hits close to home for me. Most people never think about these kids, but Jimmy Wayne, having been one of them, rescued by a couple full of Jesus and His love, remembers.)

    He finished the last leg of his race on a broken foot, no less.

    Walk To Beautiful by Jimmy Wayne with Ken Abraham was hard to put down, because of personal reasons but also because it was fascinating. His past was memorialized quite well in a journal he kept since 6th grade as well as receipts, tickets, and other things, so at times the memories seem meticulous in detail. He kept them in ziplock bags to preserve them from the weather and constant moving. It's an honest, sometimes brutally so, memoir written by a man honest with his feelings and who has been able to graciously forgive and just tell his story. His childhood was traumatic to say the very least. His mentally ill mother abused not only substances but her children as well. The word neglect an understatement. The various men she brought into their lives were broken people who in turn damaged and broke her children. Terrible beatings, abandonments, watching people murdered, religious tones in his mentally ill mother at times confusing him about God, his sister married off to an abuser at age 14...being shot at, laughed at, scorned...wearing the same dirty clothes day after day, he grew up having never been valued as a human being until he met Bea and Russell Costner. (Lord, let there be more like them!)

    It's a story of betrayal and violence and lots of dramatic moments but also hope and love and selfless kindness. Jimmy's story proves that love really does rescue. He says of Bea Costner, who took him in as a teenager, "She changed every cell of my body." Man, I want to be a Bea! When Bea and her husband Russell took Jimmy Wayne Barber into their home, he was homeless, dirty, and smelled like it. After her husband died, Bea continued to love and care for Jimmy. They were close even after he became an adult and began his career in music. He used to pick Bea up so she could attend his performances; she sat at his concerts in the front row, with the screaming girls and read her Bible! Precious visual.

    I loved this story. I devoured it, even though it did take me back to some of my own dark days as I read the first half. His life now makes me remember that our pasts cannot make victims of us unless we allow it, but instead we can turn it around and let Jesus do something marvelous and redeem the pain. We can, by the grace of God, see others and help them out of their pits.

    Jimmy is generous in sharing personal details. You won't be disappointed with this book. It delivers.

    The mother in me wanted to rescue him as I read through the pages of his childhood. The child in me related too well. But the betrayed and rejected can become like Bea-and like Jesus for someone.

    I'm blessed to have read Walk To Beautiful. I received a copy by the publisher for free in order to review it.
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