From Shoeshine to Star Wars

The Chronicles of Walt Jourdan

Non-Fiction - Memoir
200 Pages
Reviewed on 12/15/2016
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (Goodreads, B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

From Shoeshine to Star Wars: The Chronicles of Walt Jourdan by Walt and Lee Jourdan is a compelling memoir that chronicles the life of father and son as they overcome obstacles and face the challenges that only a migrant trying to create meaning in life in the US can face. Set against the backdrop of a turbulent historical moment, characterized by the Great Depression, this story is one of hope and a testament of how a man and his son could change their stars and determine their destinies. Readers will be surprised with their response to hardship, their overall perception of life, and success born of a resilient spirit. It is inspiring to watch little Walt shine a shoe here and sell a magazine there just to contribute to the welfare of the family.

One of the inspiring things about this book is the powerful lesson that we can choose how we respond to situations in life. Instead of feeling defeated and blaming others for their predicaments, both father and son took their fate into their hands and went out to find solutions for their problems. No wonder Big Walt quit school and started his numerous businesses. Readers are introduced to the difficulties faced by most immigrants trying to raise families in the US. The writing is crisp and beautiful and the voice comes out in a warm and powerful way. Most of the book is written from the point of view of the son. From Shoeshine to Star Wars: The Chronicles of Walt Jourdan is both engaging and inspirational, a story I’d love to see on screen.

Jack Magnus

From Shoeshine to Star Wars: The Chronicles of Walt Jourdan is a non-fiction memoir written by Walt and Lee Jourdan. It was 1937 when Walt was a nine-year-old boy. His family lived in Oakland, and he and his friends were more often than not getting into mischief of one sort or another. Big Walt, his dad, and his mom had their hands full keeping Walt in line, and he often woke up sore from the most recent whuppin' his dad gave him. Any soreness he might have been feeling on a Saturday morning, however, would never dissuade him from going out and doing his job shining shoes. He could make good money, better than the daily wages at US Steel, and he knew his mom counted on his earnings. He also sold magazines as he worked his shoeshine business and did so well that he was made the distributor for his neighborhood. As he grew into his early teens, he became a numbers runner and sometimes an enforcer -- someone who made sure the more vulnerable weren't bullied by others. In high school, his athletic prowess and dedication made him a natural for football in which he excelled.

Walt and Lee Jourdan's non-fiction memoir, From Shoeshine to Star Wars: The Chronicles of Walt Jourdan, is an enthralling read that details the most extraordinary life of Walt Jourdan, the challenges he faced as an African-American and the tumultuous times he's lived in. Walt is an inspired and gifted writer who shares his life in this candid, eloquent and moving memoir. Jourdan's story is rich in history and historical references, and seeing the 20th century through his eyes is a humbling experience. I especially enjoyed reading of his experiences in University High and his college years, and his accounts of his service with the Navy are spellbinding. He concludes his book with a photographic album of his family and friends that sums up this memoir perfectly, giving faces to the people I had been reading about. I loved getting to know Walt Jourdan and hope to hear more from this talented and inspirational father-son team of writers. From Shoeshine to Star Wars: The Chronicles of Walt Jourdan is most highly recommended.

Vernita Naylor

Everyone has a story. It is our childhood that helps to shape our future. Walt Jourdan shows in From Shoeshine to Star Wars: The Chronicles of Walt Jourdan by Walt and Lee Jourdan that your past doesn't have to dictate your future. Whether good or bad times, it all works together to create our character and to become who we are meant to be. Take a trip with Walt ‘Little Walt’ Jourdan as he talks about the paths, roads and hills that he traveled, particularly in Oakland, CA in From Shoeshine to Star Wars: The Chronicles of Walt Jourdan. From humble beginnings, the discipline that Walt Jourdan received catapulted him to use his talents to strengthen his future. No one, not even Walt Jourdan, could have laid out the red carpet for his life in the way that it happened. No one expected that his path would lead him on an unbeaten path.

As I read From Shoeshine to Star Wars: The Chronicles of Walt Jourdan by Walt and Lee Jourdan, I found it exciting that Walt Jourdan was so candid about his upbringing and his life. Walt Jourdan shows us that you can live beyond your dreams by merely being patient and persistent. Life is a gift, a gift to be presented and shared with others. As you read From Shoeshine to Star Wars: The Chronicles of Walt Jourdan by Walt and Lee Jourdan, you will be able to see and experience how everyone has a purpose, a plan, and a reason to share their story for the purpose of inspiring others.