Book Review: The Awakening of HK Derryberry

For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by stories based on true events and lives. The events and experiences that real people face and overcome never ceases to amaze me. So when I was offered the opportunity to read The Awakening of HK Derryberry, I just couldn’t pass it up. This is the inspirational account of how one man, Jim Bradford, befriended a young boy with Cerebral Palsy and blindness, HK Derryberry.

The story begins with coffee, which I personally believe most good things in life do.It is quick, easy, inspirational read, and a beautiful reminder not to discount or fear someone because of what we define as a disability.

One of my favorite conversations in the book was this:

“Mr. Bradford, what are you doing?”

“I’m trying to find my handicap placard.”

“I didn’t know you were handicapped!”

“I’m not, knucklehead; you are.”

“Oh yeah, I forgot.” (208)

HK Derryberry is a remarkable human being who clearly overcomes seemingly impossible odds, and has touched many lives. What the world sees as a disability may truly be his greatest gift.

For Jim Bradford, I think this story shows how powerful our choices are. What brought the two together was initially because he deviated from his routine one morning. But not just that, he could have pitied or even felt compassion for the HK and his situation, but gone no further; instead, he acted and gave of himself and his time.

While the book probably isn’t one I will ever read again, I’m happy to have met HK and Jim in its pages, and I think most of us could learn a thing or two from both HK and Jim.


I received a complimentary copy of this book through Handlebar in exchange for my honest review.

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