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Jarvis Jay Masters has taken an extraordinary journey of faith. Strangely enough, his moment of enlightenment came behind the bars of San Quentin's death row. In this compelling memoir, inmate and author Jarvis Jay Masters takes us from the arms of his heroin-addicted mother to an abusive foster home, on his escape to the illusory freedom of the streets and through lonely nights spent in bus stations and juvenile homes, and finally to life inside the walls of San Quentin State Prison. Using the nub and filler ...
Jarvis Jay Masters has taken an extraordinary journey of faith. Strangely enough, his moment of enlightenment came behind the bars of San Quentin's death row. In this compelling memoir, inmate and author Jarvis Jay Masters takes us from the arms of his heroin-addicted mother to an abusive foster home, on his escape to the illusory freedom of the streets and through lonely nights spent in bus stations and juvenile homes, and finally to life inside the walls of San Quentin State Prison. Using the nub and filler from a ballpoint pen (the only writing instrument allowed him in solitary confinement), Masters chronicles the story of a bright boy who turns to a life of crime, and of a penitent man who embraces Buddhism to find hope in this ultimately inspirational story.
Masters has written his remarkable story as a cautionary tale for anyone who might be tempted to follow in his footsteps, and as a plea for under-standing to a world that too often ignores the plight of the forgotten members of society. His personal story dramatically reminds us all that freedom and opportunity are not to be taken for granted, and that no matter what their neighborhood, no matter what their race, every child matters.
Posted April 25, 2011
That Bird has my Wings
By Jarvis Jay Masters pg count: 269
This book is something someone would want to read because it is an interesting and compelling story about a man's (Jarvis) life struggle before, and during his time on death row. In the story there is always something going on, for example Jarvis's many attempts to run away from his foster home because he was having a hard time coping with is life, and his struggle to find where he fits in with the people around him. Because there is always something going on it keeps the reader's attention, draws the reader's attention into the story, and omits any dry parts. What the author did that I really liked was that because the story is an autobiography, it left a personal aspect to the story. The author is able to express exactly how he felt at that moment in his life, which left me feeling sorry for him most of the time. An example of this is when he recalls on his account of his abusive parents, and tells of his pain, anguish and sorrow that he felt during and after the time of the attacks. The author doesn't just tell the story he includes life lessons like, one telling readers that you are able to change your life around even with the mistakes you have made in the past. The life lessons included make the story more relatable and also make it a memorable read. I don't believe that there was anything the author did to detract from the story. I felt it was well written. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It amazed me how so many things can happen to one man or really any person in one lifetime. It was also astonishing to see Jarvis overcome family hardships as a young boy, all the way up to his time on death row as an adult.
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Posted January 26, 2015
My nephew, who is a senior in high school, enjoyed this book very much and he recommended we read this book in our family book club. It gives you insight into the world of a man who grew up in a dysfunctional family and in foster homes/institutions.
Jarvis Jay Masters tells his story very well and hopefully, his message will save some other child from making the choices he made. His story makes you think twice before you write off a child as a derelict or as incorrigible.
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She pads in with a plump, juicy mouse. "They are. But the leader can also bring food, right?" She drops the mouse by his feet. "Here. Tinlypaw is needed on the border patrol."
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That Bird Has My Wings
Jarvis Jay Masters
This is a book that someone should read due to the hardships that the main character, Jarvis, has to go through. The struggles are similar to those of several other people and reading this book allows the audience to see life in a different perspective. I really enjoyed the fact that the author went chronologically through his life but continued to make references to the past. He also used a cause and effect method, showing decisions that were made along with instances from the past that could explain the reasoning. His descriptive way of writing made the book enjoyable to read the whole entire time as-well. The author didn't do anything that detracted from the content of the book. There are several reasons why I enjoyed this book so much. Having the author as the main character was what intrigued me the most because I was able to see the experiences he had with the emotional side to them. This book is appropriate for people probably 15 and older. There are some specific instances where the situation would be more appropriate for an older audience because of the use of drugs, violence and language. Reading this book changed my outlook on all prisoners and life in general. Every person has a story and every person has to face different challenges, instead of labeling them all as "prisoners" or "bad people", it's important to take the time to see as to why they are in that position. This book made me realize that deep down, each individual has potential and the surrounding people can either bring it out or hide it. Either way, there is a story behind every person and this story is one to read.
Posted May 26, 2010
I just finished reading this book and it is clearly the best book that I have read this year. This book is written with so much intimacy and clarity, I felt as if I were on the journey with Jarvis. My heart ached with his as he recounted abuse and setbacks from those who should have fostered his growth and development. My heart soared and swelled with his as he shared memories of family and special times with friends. I rooted for him with every page, and I envied him as he discovered that true freedom is a state of mind, not location. I am inspired to live in every moment appreciating the ability to be present. Well done Jarvis Jay Masters!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 15, 2009
Jarvis Master's writing makes me laugh out loud and break into tears. He writes intimately of his life, first as a child neglected and abused by parents involved in selling drugs, then as a child in a loving foster home, followed by an abusive home and then years in the California junvenile system, which hardened him and left deep scars. Finally, inside the walls of San Quentin, his heart opens again. In his first book, Finding Freedom, we learn of his journey of transformation. Now, in That Bird Has My Wings, he shares his exploration of his childhood with us, revisiting places that had been hidden inside. It is not an easy journey, but it is well worth the read. It is one of those books that makes a difference, touches deeply, and leaves us changed from the experience of reading it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 12, 2010
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