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Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go

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Overview

As the mother of one of the greatest athletes of all time, her journey is exceptional; but her story reveals that she is more than just "Shaquille O'Neal's mom."

Acquainted early in life with turmoil, O'Neal's circumstances shaped her perspective and strengthened her resolve to overcome the challenges she would encounter later in life. She has endured poverty, rejection, abuse, addiction, and the illness of a child, yet today her faith and compassion for others are stronger than...

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Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go

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Overview

As the mother of one of the greatest athletes of all time, her journey is exceptional; but her story reveals that she is more than just "Shaquille O'Neal's mom."

Acquainted early in life with turmoil, O'Neal's circumstances shaped her perspective and strengthened her resolve to overcome the challenges she would encounter later in life. She has endured poverty, rejection, abuse, addiction, and the illness of a child, yet today her faith and compassion for others are stronger than ever. O'Neal writes candidly-and often humorously-about her years of spiritual unrest and mental warfare, and her return to the God of her childhood.

In Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go, O'Neal shares her struggles and disappointments against the backdrop of her sweetest memories and proudest accomplishments. After fifty-five years, O'Neal has gained the wisdom to recognize her wrongs and guide others down a different path. Her story is proof that it's never too late for a new beginning.

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  • Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go
    Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
O'Neal's life story will garner attention because of her famous son, basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal. Lucille was raised by strict, church-going grandparents and struggled with feeling unloved. She also had low self-esteem, in part because "I was six feet by the time I was twelve." She gave birth to Shaquille when she was 17, eventually marrying a soldier when her son was two years old. Lucille spent the next two decades mothering Shaquille and his three siblings, dealing with army life, and seeing her eldest through college years and his first years in the NBA. Lucille also struggled with drinking and unhappiness, finally coming to terms with life after her mother's death. She returned to school, divorced, and returned to faith; now she says, "I'm the happiest and most satisfied I've ever been." Some may wish for more depth and flair, but the story, like Lucille, is simple and direct. Fans and celebrity followers will gain information and insights into the star's early life, but they'll also come away inspired thanks to Mom O'Neal.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595553072
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/30/2010
  • Pages: 225
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Lucille O’Neal is the president and founder of the Mothers of Professional Basketball Players Association. She holds a Mastersin Organizational Managementfrom the University of Phoenix.O'Neal is the proud mother of four and grandmother of 14 grandchildren.
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Read an Excerpt

Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go

My Journey from Mental Welfare to Mental Health
By Lucille O'Neal Allison Samuels

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2010 Lucille O'Neal
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59555-307-2


Chapter One

"Living in Confusion"

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)

When I stepped through the door of our three-story New Jersey home that bright Summer afternoon, I knew my secret was a secret no more. On our deep-beige, plastic-covered sofa in the living room sat my mother, Odessa, smiling pleasantly as usual, and my grandmother Cillar, who (per usual) was not smiling at all. These two women were not the best of friends. In fact, they were far from it, which explained why they were sitting on opposite ends of the sofa. But something had brought them together on this fateful evening, and I was pretty sure it wasn't high tea. The two most prominent women in my world were there to confront me about something I'd chosen to ignore. In the previous weeks my seventeen-year-old body had begun to change ever so slightly. I'd been skin and bones most of my young life, but suddenly I was putting on weight. My mornings before I departed for school were filled with constant trips to the bathroom to throw up, and nothing I ate stayed down for very long. These were all symptoms of a condition I was much too scared to even admit to myself was possible. This was 1971, not long after the end of the civil rights movement, and still a time when being young, single, and pregnant was a thing of shame for the entire family. To add to my disgrace, I'd been raised in the most Christian of households, so my embarrassment would be all the worse. How could I have sinned like that? my grandmother asked with absolutely no patience for my answer. Her disapproving face said it all. I was crushed and ashamed that day, but this is exactly how the impending birth of my oldest child, Shaquille Rashaun, was announced at my home. Though I knew his arrival would change my life forever, I never guessed in just how many mind-boggling ways.

As I sat there that day, listening to my grandmother lash out at me for all my "sinful transgressions," I did what I often do when things became too much for me to handle: I zoned out. Why would I stay in that moment to hear my grandmother accuse me of being a ho' on wheels and a tramp and any other negative name she could think of? In retrospect, I think my grandmother was angry about a lot of things that day-things that had little to do with me. Her life hadn't exactly been rainbows and moonbeams, and I'd unwittingly provided her a perfect opportunity to unleash all that pent-up frustration on me. My mother, on the other hand, said nothing as my grandmother verbally let loose. Her pleasant facial expression and smile said to be calm and let my grandmother vent. I tried my best to comply and just sat there with my hands folded in my lap. To stop myself from crying, I bit my lip and focused on a small piece of wallpaper that had begun to peel away behind my grandmother's head.

Many of the questions my grandmother asked me that day, she already knew the answers to. She most certainly had met my boyfriend and the father of my baby, because he'd been at the house a number of times. She even liked him, or at least she seemed to. Still, she felt it necessary to go over all the details of how I could have gotten myself in the "family way." She wanted reasons that day, but I had none for her. None that I wanted to share, that is. All I could manage to do was mumble I was sorry a thousand times, until I couldn't say it anymore and didn't want to say it again.

We never know where the circumstances of our lives, good or bad, will lead us. Lord knows I sure didn't. I was so depressed prior to Shaquille's birth. I felt my life was essentially over before it had a chance to begin. I was seventeen years old and just finishing high school when I found out I was pregnant. How would I rebound from having a baby so early in my life with no higher education or job skills? What kind of mother would I be when I was barely able to take care of myself? These questions haunted me prior to my son's birth and sent me spiraling down into a world of self-pity and self-doubt. But in truth, I knew my self-esteem issues didn't begin with Shaquille's future entrée into the world. I'd battled with the residue of an unloving and unhappy childhood for years, which in turn caused me to look for love in all the wrong places. But thirty-eight years ago I had no idea how to deal with the many confusing thoughts and feelings running through my young mind. I just knew I was heading in the wrong direction and needed to turn around before it was too late.

We don't often see in our childhoods many things that are blatant to us as adults. I can't keep count of the number of people who have told me they never knew they were poor growing up until they were fully grown. Honestly, I wish I'd been that clueless about my own life. I unfortunately understood very early on that I wasn't growing up in what anyone would call a "traditional family" setting-it wasn't even close. My parents divorced when I was just three years old, and that left my older brother, Roy; younger sister, Vivian; and me to be raised by my father and his family.

The fact that my parents separated when I was very young impacted my life in ways that I can't begin to fully comprehend, not even today. That single event would go on to define how I felt-in both positive and negative ways-about the woman I would later become. Obviously, many people go through divorce and learn to deal with the aftermath of a family torn apart; however, for me and my two siblings, there were so many questions about what actually happened to our family and why. These are questions that wouldn't be answered until much later on.

Chapter Two

Life Ain't Been No Crystal Stair

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11

Though I was born in a little town called Dublin, Georgia, I have absolutely no memories of the Deep South or of the home where I most likely took my first steps. As soon as our parents went their separate ways in the late 1950s, my father and his family moved us by car to Newark, New Jersey. I can still vaguely recall sitting in a jam-packed car for what seemed like forever as we made our way up north. Neither my brother and sister nor I could even ask if we were there yet because we didn't know where "there" was! Looking back at how hastily we moved to our new city, it almost feels as though my father's family wanted to make sure our earliest memories of life and our mother were erased as quickly as they had been formed.

Much later, my siblings and I would learn that we were moved to New Jersey so quickly because our mother wanted out of her marriage with our father. All I remembered during this time was that I didn't understand why our family wasn't like every other family I knew. All of the other families had a home with a mommy, a daddy, and children all living under one roof. There were always two parents, and certainly none of these families were moving to a new state to get away from each other. Nowadays it's more common than not that children grow up in a single-parent household, but this was a time in African-American life when two parents in the home was a given. How things have changed today, and unfortunately for the worse.

My family was different. When my father, brother, sister, and I first moved to Jersey (most of my father's family already lived in New Jersey), we shared the second floor of a crowded three-story building on South Eighth Street. Our differences from other families in the neighborhood didn't end there, mind you; my grandfather's brothers and sisters and their families also lived in that big building on Eighth Street: some on the first floor, more on the second floor with us, and the rest on the third floor. It's amazing the things I can still visualize all these years later, like the elaborate sleeping plan created for all of us to fit on that cramped second floor. In all honesty, it wasn't just people that made our new home so cramped. My grandparents loved the antique pieces of the time and had a great deal of large, dark, mahogany wood furniture throughout the house, that people pay an arm and leg for today. Of course, it wasn't that expensive back then, so anyone with any type of money furnished their homes that same way. For some reason that furniture always brought a certain melancholy and sadness to the house because it was so heavy, hard, and cold. There was no way to escape it either-because it was everywhere, in the hallway, the living room, and the bedrooms.

In fact, those pieces were so depressing to me that when I began furnishing my most recent house (or "little hut," as I like to call it), I made a point of only choosing light, mellow-colored sofas, chairs, etc.-in creams, tans, and yellow tones. Those colors always seem to calm, comfort, and relax me after a day out and about. Today, I love to complement my furniture with luscious green plants and colorful flowers. I love greenery, particularly since it was a luxury we couldn't afford when I was a child.

Not surprisingly, our little home in New Jersey soon became so overcrowded that we eventually had no choice but to move again. We packed up all of our belongings, and this time we moved into a larger abode at 296 Littleton Avenue. In this setup, our father slept on the couch in the living room, an aunt slept on a foldaway bed in the den, and another had a small bedroom near the front of the house. My sister and I shared one bed in a very, very small room in the front of the house. When I say small, I mean shoebox tiny-we had to step outside of the room to turn around, and that's no joke. The full-size bed and mismatched tiny dresser (which my grandparents purchased from the Goodwill) that was placed in the corner took up every ounce of space. When Shaquille was born, we had to move the dresser out to fit his little crib in. As my sister and I got older, we craved our own space, but in the beginning it wasn't that bad being so close, literally and figuratively, to my sister. I was the oldest, so I could boss her around a little, and we could share things about our day that only sisters can. Having a little sister can drive you crazy, but it can also be a relationship like no other. My brother bunked near my father, and my grandparents shared the biggest bedroom in the home, all the way in the back on the second floor. Simply put, there were a whole lot of people in that house, and way too much thought had to be put into who went where.

Yet somehow we all managed to live together without anyone suffering any bodily harm. Now, that's not to say there weren't issues-trust me, there were a whole host of them that gradually wore me out as I began to get older and long for my own room. To complicate matters, as the middle child I always felt it was up to me to keep my brother and sister in line and in check. Go figure. This was no doubt the beginning of my lifelong trait of wanting to take care of everyone I loved. I wanted to keep peace in every situation, whether it was actually possible or not. This could simply have been the pattern of any middle child in a big family, but whatever the case, the self-imposed responsibility weighed heavily on me.

It was my job, or so I convinced myself it was, to display a calm exterior at all times at home so things could run smoothly with my grandparents, who were exceedingly strict. No ifs, ands, or buts about it, it was their way or the highway, and it was a complete waste of time to argue otherwise. I imagine my grandparents were no different from many older people of their generation, particularly African Americans, who were just fighting to stay alive in many instances. It was their generation who had witnessed firsthand that not following the rules had the potential to get you into some serious trouble. But their strictness was sometimes very suffocating to us as young kids, and it negated a certain level of warmth I think all children need to feel confident and thrive.

I knew even back then that if I ever had my own kids, things would be entirely different. I'd give my children all the love they could handle, and then some. In fairness, now that I am older, I realize that distant love was probably the only type of love my grandparents knew how to give. In fact, it probably was how they were treated as children themselves. I can't imagine there were many occasions for hugs and kisses from their own parents at a time when African Americans were still being hung from trees and forced to work out in the fields. My grandparents were the descendants of slaves, who didn't or couldn't show affection because they feared they would become too emotionally attached to a loved one or a child who could soon be sold away. So understandably, our grandparents' attitude was that keeping us warm, fed, and safe was showing us all the love we needed.

It wasn't enough for me.

Chapter Three

Man About Town

Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. -Psalm 112:4 (ESV)

My grandparents, Cillar (Mama) and Hilton O'Neal (Papa), were like a wrestling tag team in my life and in the lives of all my relatives and anyone else who knew them. They could deliver a serious one-two punch that could blindside you and knock you out before you ever knew what hit you. Although they worked quite effectively as a pair, it was without a doubt my grandfather's hovering presence that kept us all honest and on track. To know Hilton O'Neal was to respect him. He was a man who carried himself with a purpose and a plan no matter where he was. A physically striking man at a little over six feet tall, his deep, dark, chocolate complexion was as smooth as a newborn baby's skin, and boy, could he dress. Spectator shoes, perfectly pressed zoot suits, and fedora hats were his signature pieces, and he wore them with style and pride. My grandfather was one bad brother!

As a child, I viewed my grandfather with both awe and fear, never fully comprehending what it must have been like to be a black man full of confidence and swagger in those trying days. This was a time when African Americans were considered less than human, attacked by police dogs, and forced to sit in the back of the bus. Looking his best was the one way he could consistently show the world that he was a proud, full-fledged human being-no matter if the law disagreed. Many African-American males did the same during that time in an attempt to prove to the outside world that they were worthy of respect. It saddens me to see many of our young men today dress so sloppily, with sagging pants and an overall unkempt appearance. I often wonder if they truly understand how their ancestors, like my grandfather, took so much pride in looking their best and what it meant to them to be viewed as respected citizens. Presenting a well-kept look afforded them the chance to be at least recognized in a world where they were often dismissed.

My grandfather also had other talents that went against the grain of what African Americans were supposed to be capable of doing in those days. Though he worked in construction during the day, laying bricks and drywalling alongside his brothers and other family members, he had a sharp mind for business and owned several properties, even a neighborhood tavern and bar. His keen business savvy meant there was always food on our table and that we never went without-even during the days of profuse poverty for blacks. While my grandfather was too humble to talk about his own endeavors or his advanced entrepreneurial skills, his middle brother, Chappell, enjoyed nothing more than sitting in a big chair and detailing the early exploits of the O'Neal family for hours on end. "Uncle Chap," as we affectionately called him, was the self-appointed griot (African storyteller) of the family, and while his tales kept us quite entertained, we weren't always certain they were completely true.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go by Lucille O'Neal Allison Samuels Copyright © 2010 by Lucille O'Neal. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Shaquille O'Neal ix

Preface xi

Chapter 1 "Living in Confusion" 1

Chapter 2 Life Ain't Been No Crystal Stair 5

Chapter 3 Man About Town 11

Chapter 4 "We Are Family" 17

Chapter 5 "Love, No Limit" 27

Chapter 6 Can I Get an Amen? 35

Chapter 7 Big Lou 41

Chapter 8 School Daze 47

Chapter 9 "He's So Fine" 53

Chapter 10 "Tonight's the Night..." 59

Chapter 11 The Little Warrior 65

Chapter 12 Why They Do It 71

Chapter 13 "That's the Way Love Goes" 75

Chapter 14 Daddy's Home! 81

Chapter 15 Losing Lucille 85

Chapter 16 "Lean on Me" 89

Chapter 17 "Inner City Blues" 97

Chapter 18 New Marching Orders 101

Chapter 19 "Been Around the World" 105

Chapter 20 "The Best of My Love" 111

Chapter 21 The Family That Plays Together... 117

Chapter 22 "A Change Is Gonna Come" 123

Chapter 23 Good Intentions 129

Chapter 24 Let the Games Begin 135

Chapter 25 The Emptier Nest 139

Chapter 26 Eyes Wide Open 145

Chapter 27 "New Attitude" 151

Chapter 28 Mommy 157

Chapter 29 Starting Over 165

Chapter 30 "The Wild, Wild West" 171

Chapter 31 "Through the Fire" 179

Chapter 32 Another Test 185

Chapter 33 "Never Would Have Made It" 191

Epilogue: The Lord Has Brought Me a Mighty Long Way 201

Acknowledgments 211

The Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund 217

A Note from Lucille 221

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

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(11)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

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1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 11, 2014

    WONDERFUL MUST READ

    WOW!!!! What a read, this book is enticing,So griping to a mothers heart.Shaq is one of my beloved players ,my son adores him and so do I.My heart is full with pride to know that I can overcome adversity .Thank you for your honest ,and love that you put in this book.
    WONDERFUL A MUST READ

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  • Posted August 1, 2011

    Inspiring

    This book is a quick read because once you start you canot put it down. I am waiting for her to write another book!

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  • Posted August 31, 2010

    Not great, doesn't really hook you.

    It's the story of Lucille, who is Shaq's mom, and her growing up and what it was like being a single mom. Her parents were really strict and honestly, I would say abusive. But she just talks it off like it's no big. And that really irritates me because that kind of behavior isn't ok. Anyways. Although I didn't really enjoy the memoir myself- it would be very good for someone who fits the stereotypical un-wed, uneducated mother. While it's obviously worked out for her that isn't the case for everyone. And I guess when I read the book it made me feel like she was saying, "Hey- it's ok to have babies on your own with no education! You just pray real hard and everything will be great." And really? That's not a plan. That's a hope. I had a hard time identifying with this story but then again, I've never been in that situation. So I guess if I have to give it a 1-5 rating (5 being the best) I'd say 1. Only because I just couldn't stay engaged at all.

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  • Posted July 24, 2010

    "Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go" by Lucille O'Neal is a fast-moving glimpse of her childhood to her life today.

    "Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go" by Lucille O'Neal is a fast-moving glimpse of her childhood to her life today. Lucille opens her soul to us, being very honest, and holding nothing back. Most chapters open with scripture, God's true Word, serving as her encouragement. She describes growing up as a child, lacking self-love, resulting in a total lack of self-esteem and confidence, which she calls "mental-welfare". As a happy mother of four, she describes how the storms in her life have her so very humbled and grateful for where she finds herself today.

    Truthfully, I felt discouraged as I saw Lucille repeating her mistakes until I realized that I can look back and also wonder why it took me so long to learn. Thankfully, God is very patient, forgiving and full of grace. This book reminds me that the storms in life can bring us closer to God than we ever thought possible. I recommend this book to all readers who truly savor the moments they share with those they love.


    *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted July 21, 2010

    Taking a Slow Walk with Lucille

    "I'm a living and breathing testament that life begins and flourishes at whatever age you become comfortable in your own skin and whenever it is that you fall in love with what you see when you look in the mirror each morning."

    I've been taking a slow walk through a book. I could have read it quickly - it's certainly not a complicated novel - but getting to know Lucille O'Neal was something I wanted to savor. In learning about her life, I have learned to happily embrace mine.

    In the book, "Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go," Lucille shares the story of her challenging childhood, teenage pregnancy, relationship issues, struggles with alcoholism - and overcoming faith in God. Yes, she is the mother of NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, but her book doesn't rest on his fame as her redemption. Lucille inspires women to look upward and move onward, no matter their circumstances. She shares, "Without a test, there is no testimony."

    Through her words, she has shown the beauty of a life lived fully. Her book evolves from autobiography to a passionate and convicting challenge - to dream big, step out in faith, and choose to live victoriously in Christ. Taking a slow walk with her through her journey from mental warfare to mental health - and mental wealth - is a good journey indeed.

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  • Posted June 25, 2010

    Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go by Lucille O'Neal

    Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go is a motto that Ms. O'Neal got from a preacher in her church when she was a youth in the church. Since then, Ms. O'Neal, the famous basketball player Shaq's mother has lived her life by this motto. This book is a story of her life from childhood to the present. She discusses her life growing up without the influence of her mother, being raised by strict Christian grandparents, living through an unhappy marriage, and raising her children through all of life's ups and downs, and finally pursuing her dreams. This book was very easy to read. In fact, I was able to read it in two days. I found the story line interesting and easy to follow. I did not find the book to be very inspirational. Ms. O'Neal had alot of breaks in her life due to her son's wealth and fame. This isn't to say that she did not have her own personal drive to achieve her accomplishments without the help of Shaq, but she did have many financial advantages that ordinary people can not relate to. If you are looking for an interesting story line and a book that is easy to read, this might be the book for you. If you are looking for an inspirational story you can relate to, I do not think this is a good choice.

    Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

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  • Posted June 13, 2010

    Inspirational Memoir

    "Walk Like You Have Somwhere to Go" is a memoir of Lucille O'Neal's life. If you didn't recognize the last name, Lucille is the mother of NBA icon, Shaquille O'Neal. Lucille felt her life's journey could be of some spiritual encouragement to others and she decided to write this memoir.


    Lucille is very upfront and honest about her life before and after the fame and fortune of her oldest son, NBA star Shaquille O'Neal.


    Without giving away too much of the book, here's my review. Lucille shares her life story in a warm and conversational way. Lucille had a difficult childhood feeling unloved by family, feeling awkward amongst her peers, being a teen mom, and being in an unhappy marriage.


    After all that Lucille went through in the past she reflects back and sums up her past state of mind as "mental welfare". Lucille coined the term "mental welfare" as it applies to her life growing up with low self-esteem and a lack of confidence that stemmed from a love-less childhood. Lucille felt these were issues that millions of people faced daily, and she wanted to share her story.


    Lucille's life took a major turn when her oldest son, Shaquille, became a big NBA star, and she became caught up in the whirlwind while sharing in his fame and fortune, it brought out the worst in her. Lucille had feelings of resentment of his success and some surprising negative behaviors arose from her.


    This book was written with spiritual undertones, and Lucille lets it be known that when she was open to change and knew that God had a bigger plan for her life that's when she began her spiritual journey. I personally enjoy inspirational autobiographies and this was an interesting memoir.


    This book is an easy read, flows well, and will definitely hold your attention from beginning to end. What I got from this book is that money can't bring you happiness, but your continued faith in God can bring you the joy and guidance that you need on a daily basis.

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  • Posted June 1, 2010

    Book Review of Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go

    Recently, I read a book by Shaquile Oneal's mother entitled, "Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go: From Mental Welfare to Mental Health". It tells her life journey and overcoming great obstacles a long the way.


    Lucille share with readers how she became pregnant with Shaquille at just 17 years old. Her desire to provide a male role model for her son leads to life living in Germany as a military mother, and dealing with a troubled marriage and alcohol addiction.
    I especially enjoyed the stories of her childhood. She share her fond memories of her youth. Originally from the South, Lucille moved up North with her church going grandparents. This is where she first learned about faith.
    In this book, Lucille will share 40 scriptures that were key in helping her live life as an over comer. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a quick, motivational, and easy read.

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  • Posted June 1, 2010

    Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go~ A Review

    Wow. Another amazing read published by Thomas Nelson Inc and written by Lucille O'Neal. Yes, she is Shaq's mother. She chronicles her life born the 1950's living in the south. She tells us about her unstable childhood and getting pregnant in her late teens. She gives us court side seats as she shows us that God really does have a plan for us, it just may not be an easy road to travel down.

    I loved her candor in detailing her life. She is an inspiration and made me realize that we can overcome whatever adversity we are facing. Please pick up this book. You will not regret it.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go - Lucille O'Neal From Mental Welfare to Mental Health

    Lucille O'Neal is a proud mother of 4, one of them is the famous basketball player Shaquille O'Neal. In this book she talks about her life, about everything she learned from the circumstances and crisis that she has been through.
    It's a perfect book for parents, she talks very passionately about how she raised her children, now all grown-ups, about the different needs that every child has and the way the parent can relate to his child's needs. It's a perfect book for the girls that have started very early on this motherhood journey, with no support and encouragement from others maybe, because she reveals a lot of things that helped her on this tough journey that she walked as well. I also think is a great book for those of us who think that we are no longer supposed to dare dreaming big. She is a great example of courage perseverance for all of us.

    I liked this book very much. It's a well written biographic book. It's also very easy to read. It motivated me to dare dreaming big and be fearless about what others may think about my dreams. I learned I can do anything and go through everything, because I am a wonderful human being, created and greatly loved by my LORD.

    So ... Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go, because you DO HAVE!!!

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  • Posted May 3, 2010

    Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go by Lucille O'Neal

    In this book Lucille O'Neal, mother of NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal, shares the story of her life. Lucille's life today is a far cry from growing up in New Jersey where most of her extended family lived in a single house. In this book, O'Neal shares how she went from that house in New Jersey, to being a single teenage mother, an unhappy Army wife and finally how Shaquille became an NBA star and how her life has changed because of that. Throughout the story of her journey O'Neal shares her struggles, her faith and her heart.


    This book is easy to read, the tone is informal and conversational. While it was interesting to learn about Lucille's life, as well as Shaquille's, this book was not a riveting "page-turner." O'Neal does a good job of telling her story, conveying her thoughts and feelings as her life changed over the years, but this book is not a "must read" or a best seller. If you're interested in a quick read and learning more about Lucille or Shaquille's history, this book would be great for you, but don't expect it to be a life changing, awe-inspiring story.

    Disclosure of Material Connection:


    I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

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  • Posted May 3, 2010

    Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go by Lucille O'Neal

    This book is about the trials and triumphs of Lucille O'Neal, mother of Shaquille O'Neal. It is not an ordinary story in that it tells of the highs and lows as the family struggled to get to be where it is today. Details not only their history but reminds us of the state of the country at the time. The story really touched me. It was not all positive or all negative. I came away with a deep admiration for Lucille as she overcame many challenges and obstacles - many of the challenges and obstacles mirror those faced by people today. She is a strong woman with a great outlook on life. She admits that times were tough but that she learned to rise above and do what she needed to succeed. Though the mother of a world famous sports star (who hasn't heard of Shaq) she is remarkably down to earth and comes across like someone you would like to get to know better. The family pictures tell a story all their own and brings the various people in her life to life. Putting faces to the strong personalities written about was a nice touch. I strongly recommend this book to women of all ages. You do not need to be a mother to appreciate this book but as a mother, you can empathize with her. A book I would read more than once.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

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  • Posted May 3, 2010

    Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans, I have for you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    I know that God is talking to me, before I went to bed last night I read Jeremiah 29:11. Woke up this morning checked my computer and ran across,"WALK LIKE YOU HAVE SOMEWHERE TO GO", by Lucille O'Neal. I read parts of the book on line will be purchasing it soon. When I read the same scripture she had written in her book I know there is a reason for every season.My mother's name is LUCILLE and my son is tall and looks like SHAQ, everybody calls him SHAQ. And, I said to myself there is a reason for this I don't know what God is telling me or all the plans He has for me, but it has something to do with this book. From what I've read so far it's so REAL and down to earth and tell it all like it is truthfully back in the DAY, to where the trials and tribulations and happiness, failures and success has brought you and your son so FAR. I love a real story that you can relate to. Thank GOD for you and SHAQ. Continue in the blessings that God has promised you and your family. Right now I'm, WALKING LIKE I HAVE SOMEWHERE TO GO thank you! LOVE SHIRLEY MOORMAN

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  • Posted April 28, 2010

    Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go By Lucille O'Neal (With Allison Samuels)

    Being related to someone famous, must be a very difficult thing, really!

    Irrespective of whatever you do on your own, you are always seen as "Person X's wife", or "Mr. Y's Mother", Or "Ms. Z's ex-husband". Moving out of this 'brand' is a near-impossible task. Not many have survived this.

    When I saw an autobiography of Lucille O'Neal, I immediately thought she got this assignment only because she is mother of a very famous basketball superstar, and we are forced to read her story just because her son's success as an excellent athlete.

    But pretty soon, Lucille proved me wrong. Its not her last name which is her claim to fame, But her life itself makes a very interesting reading. With co-author Allison Samuels' support, she has beautifully narrated it in a very gripping, inspiring, sometimes funny way.

    The most interesting aspect of the book, according to me is, Lucille explains the struggles she faced in detail, but she never points fingers at anyone. She talks about faith as her only companion during hardships, and also during greener pastures of her life. This attitude seems to be one of the important reasons why she survived such a difficult grill.

    I recommend this book for anyone who don't go by brand value, but are interested in reading honest, true, and inspiring story of a simple human being, and benefit from it.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2010

    Great For Uplifting Discussion

    "Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go: From Mental Welfare to Mental Health," discusses the life and growth of Lucille O'Neal. This autobiography explores the trials and mistakes of her life and the lessons learned. Lucille O'Neal wants to let people women know that it is never to late to change and enjoy life.

    "Walk Life You Have Somewhere to Go" was very inspiring. Each chapter represented a new challenge for Lucille and also a new level of growth. I truly enjoyed Lucille O'Neal's honesty. She looked her own flaws and mistakes right in the face and then used them to improve her life and enlighten others. The reader gets to feel what it is like to struggle as a military wife, while rasing a family and battling alcoholism.

    I never thought about what its like for a mother to send her son off to the NBA. I always assumed the transitions from college to the NBA were flawless and only considered the material changes. After reading her perspective on in the cultivating of an NBA superstar, I now have a new respect for athletes and their families.

    This book is great for people who enjoy inspiring stories, but also for those who want to take a look inside the childhood of NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted April 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go

    The title alone would give me cause to buy this book. Lucille O'Neal lays her life on the line for all to see in this tell it all biography. In fact, her down-to-earth manner of writing is sometimes too painfully honest. She leaves out no committed sin but tells is like it is.

    I am not a basketball fan but this 'growing -up' story of both mom, Lucille and her famous son Shaquille, will inspire every reader.

    Lucille is an example of how to aim higher. Did you get that? No,we do not need to be content where we are!

    Lucille had her baby out of wedlock, conquered the welfare lifestyle and moved into self-supporting mode. She refused to accept the norm. Some of her decisions would not have been mine. However, she is so honest about her errors and mistakes that you just have to love her.

    She came from a harsh background into a life of late college degrees, honestly earned, not bestowed! She heads a fund raiser for Ovarian cancer. She is also the president of the Mothers of Professional Basketball Players Association.

    Wonder woman? No, just a gal like you and I who poured her heart into living.

    This would be a great book for all the sports moms out there. I am not one of those but I thoroughly enjoyed it just the same.

    Brenda Wood

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2010

    Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go

    I recently read the book, "Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go" by Lucille O'Neal. I was attracted to this book by the title. The idea of walking like I'm going somewhere has encouraged me to confront issues more confidently and it actually helped me finish a recent 7 mile walk!

    "Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go" is the story of how a young single mother grew to become a college graduate and the mother of a NBA star. Ms. O'Neal and I have very little in common but that didn't keep me from learning a few lessons as I read about her life experiences.

    I found the writing style of the book to be very disjointed and at times difficult to read. I spent quite a bit of time having to stop and re-read passages from previous chapters in order to clarify the section I was currently reading.

    I think that this book would be enjoyed by young women who feel that they are stuck in their perceived limited life of single motherhood and who long for a different life. I cannot personally condone all of Ms. O'Neal's choices in life but it is her story and she has every right to tell it for whatever reason she chooses.

    Disclaimer: Thomas Nelson sent me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The opinions in this review are my own.

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    Walk Like you Have Somewhere to Go

    Mrs. O'Neal doesn't pull any punches in the story of her first 50+ years on this earth.
    She discusses how, when her father and mother divorced, when she was quite young, her father took custody of the children, and with his parents, moved to Newark New Jersey. How, being a young woman who was nearly 6 feet tall at a young age, can cause you to have low self esteem, and and how she dealt with this. And how she coped, as she moved into her teens, including becoming pregnant at 17, and the young man skipping out, leaving her to deal with the pregnancy and raising of their child.
    Then, marrying, having 3 more children very close together, one of which was born prematurely.
    To make ends meet, her husband joined the army, and the difficulties in moving from place to place, feeding 4 children on a very limited budget, and how she coped by drinking.
    She shares her ups and downs, struggles along with the good things that happened along the way.
    The book is well written, easy to read, and you feel you know Mrs. O'Neal by the time you've finished it.
    I didn't always agree with her way of handling issues, but that didn't keep me from enjoying the book.

    I was provided a copy of this book to read and review by Booksneeze. The opinions expressed here are my own, and no money was paid for this review.

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  • Posted April 13, 2010

    Lucille O'Neal will get you walking like you have somewhere to go, too!

    What a refreshing view on the world! She starts her auto-biography from childhood, through her teen pregnancy with Shaquille, right up to the present day. Her trials and joys are laid out plain and clear & the writing, honestly, makes it easy to imagine her reading it aloud. I think I enjoyed that the most. It feels raw and unedited; real, I guess. She includes her favorite scriptures that helped her get through each phase of her life, which made the book all the more applicable to me on a personal level.

    I honestly couldn't put the book down! I had a day off of work yesterday and had every intention of being super productive. Au contraire! I read this book in front of the computer, while making dinner, instead of cleaning the house, etc. Lucille really draws you in, and her can-do attitude is contagious! I really enjoyed her take on education and motherhood. She mentioned how she thinks every generation has an obligation to pave the way for the next generation, in the name of human progression. I recommend this book to anyone who feels like they've got it bad. It really made me appreciate the opportunities I have and the family I've been blessed with.

    To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I have to mention that Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. Click for details.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go

    An inspiring story of a single black mother who waged against all odds to come out victoriously in the battles of life. It's a book that kept me awake all through the night. At some points you will actually tend to feel sorry for Mrs. Lucille O'Neal and at some points you will have your faith greatly encouraged. A book of thirty three chapters it's such a fast read. I particularly enjoyed Chapter two Life Aint Been No Crystal Stair. She's such a strong woman whose life will challenge other young women especially single mothers. The book will most likely attend to your emotional needs rather than your intellectual. It will lay a background for determination and dedication in case you've lost your package. I simply love the book and I think I will order for some gift copies for my friends. It's a must-read for everyone of them

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