Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Review: The Awakening of HK Derryberry

photo courtesy of Barnes and Noble

Grab a tissue before you read this one, folks.  What a brilliant true story of a very unlikely friendship: that of a 9 year old blind boy with cerebral palsy and well-to-do middle aged businessman.

God had an appointment for Jim Bradford one chilly October morning.  Jim was going to get a cup of coffee, his second of the day, at Starbucks or McDonalds.  But for some reason, he turned the opposite way of those places, and went to a place he had never been to before:  Mrs. Winner's Chicken & Biscuits.

Once there he saw a small boy, all alone in one of the booths.  He was blind.  He had braces on his legs, and he was bent over a taped-together radio, concentrating intently on what he was hearing.

Over the course of several years, the boy, HK Derryberry, and Jim Bradford forged a friendship that was truly more like a father-son relationship.  HK's mother had been in a horrible car accident while she was pregnant with him, and ended up being taken off life support after having HK via C-section.  HK's father was a no good drunk who took off immediately, leaving HK's paternal grandmother to care for him. Because he was born so early, he would stay in the NICU for 96 days. His premature birth was the reason for both his cerebral palsy and blindness.

Jim and HK started spending every Saturday together at Mrs. Winner's, and eventually, at Mr. Bradford's home.  When they met, HK was kind of a "Rain Man"; he would pepper Jim with questions (and anyone else he was introduced to) and couldn't really carry on a conversation.  By the end of the book, HK and Mr. Bradford were doing speaking engagements together.

This is a total feel-good story.  Sure, there are some ups and downs, some parts more sad than others. But overall, by the end of the story, I think you'll find that like Mr. Bradford, like me, you'll want to be a little more like HK.  The boy turned young man who sees with his heart instead of his eyes.

The only thing that I was mildly perturbed about regarding this book is that is jumped around chronologically.   For example, one chapter might end with Mr. Bradford sharing about something that happened in 2010, and then the next chapter would start in 2004. Each chapter had a logical order to it however;  this small discrepancy is one that won't bother 95% of most people. I'm just a little weird that way.

I hope you read this amazing story of life, faith, and a young man who will totally inspire you.

I received this book at no cost in return for my fair and honest review.

You can purchase the book Barnes and Noble by clicking   here
Or you can purchase it on amazon by clicking    here