Why did I pick this book?
Something that struck me with this book is that it is about someone famous, Jimmy Wayne, who I identify with his younger self. He was a homeless. He was a foster youth. I was and have been both myself. I understand the hardship of being homeless as a child. It is not fun. It is not as glorified as it can be in the movies.
When I saw this, I KNEW I had to review this book.
The first chapter after the forward is "today" so to speak. He is at Madison Square Garden about to go on stage. Something that many artists can only dream of and he was there and doing it! Let a lone a boy who comes from nothing, from worrying about his mum having issues with a guy she is with and dropping him off in strange places. Some of us sadly can relate to this story.
I like this. A great easy read but also reads multi-faceted. It reads as a biography, a story, a memoir, a E True Hollywood story, and an inspiration.
When he has made it big he made this promise to himself:
"When I make it to the music business, I will not forget where I came from, and I will come back to help the kids in foster care." Page 13
This is promise that we all make ourselves when we get out of tough situations. To never forget where we come from. He realised he had not done that and was determined to make it happen. It is a great reminder- if you have been in these situations, have you gone back to serve those that are still stuck in a situation you were once in? If not, what are you going to do within your capability about it?
He goes on to talk about the horrible experiences he had as a kid. And some of them normal for poor children, his goes above and beyond (or below and very below) that. When you talk about a child who had it rough, Jimmy did. Sadly, I can say, I relate to some of his stories. I feel so deeply for him.
For anyone who has gone through really tough times in life, you can realise that you are not alone. Others out there have been through similar things as you. You almost feel like you want to reach to into the book and save him. That is how well descriptive it is.
He talks about when he killed a frog because he was so angry inside despite being in a good foster home because when it came down to it, he did not have the love he wanted and he had no control over anything. Later he found a woman who said she gave out frog trinkets to kids. He asked why finding irony in it and she said it means to f.r.o.g.- fully rely on God.
How have you relied on something when you are near nothing? Have you ever been there?
Like some kids in the system, school was his way out even though he did not see it. He did not see it until he had a wonderful teacher Ms. Friday who held him back and accepted nothing less from him. Teachers like this are rare and many want to help. It is how I view scouting. I care deeply about the kids I am with. Having that teacher or mentor in some one's life can make all the difference in the outcome of their life. For Jimmy, Ms. Friday, was one of those people who changed his life.
When he would get letters from his mum who was in prison, he said they would be like church service. Start out sweet with I love yous and end up asking for money. I thought that was funny. He, the writer, has a way of making even the harsh realities he faced in to something you can laugh at in moments like this. Many can relate.
He goes on the cross country trip that was about to take place due to his latest step father's antics that nearly killed his brother's wife. This is after he tried to kill Jimmy as well after some drunken rampage he went on. So they had to run. Somewhere along the road, he made Jimmy get out and left him at a bus station at 13 years old.
He struggled because after he was reunited with his mum and awful step dad he was still wanting them and them not wanting him. After many beatings from Tim, the step father, he falsely filed reported that the things he was doing to him he was doing to him instead causing Jimmy to end up in the foster care system.
This amazing couple take him in despite their elderly age and help him- buy him new school clothes-something that he had never experienced. Bea was a musician and Russell was a world war II vet. Russell soon passed and that left Bea and Jimmy.
Jimmy had soon joined a band. Whether Bea had influenced that or not, how cool is that? It was the beginning of his new journey! You can tell in reading this book that it was his turning point of when his life was getting better and he was having more control over it. Things in his world started to make more sense. Both in school and out side of school.
Read the book all the way through to find out what happens. I did and putting down this book was not easy for me. Jimmy does very well of describing his life and remembering things that most foster kids put in the back of their mind... for a reason. Like he says, you move out and you move on up. You have to.
Whether or not you have experienced anything he has, you need to read this book. It will enlighten you either way. We are not alone in this world and we can help those around us! Very well done!
You can buy the book here.
One day, Jimmy, I hope to meet you and give you big hugs! I want to cry because your book touched me that much. I know sharing a story like that is not easy and you do an incredible job of it- knowing that I can relate to it. I am very sorry for what you have had to be through. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? Well it shows just be the very fact you are willing to be open yourself. You have let those know they are not alone. They can go up too. Great job!!!
* I received this book if exchange for my honest review*