Hey Nana!

Hey Nana!

by Toni Nunemaker


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Hey Nana! by Toni Nunemaker

This is a book of love from a little boy, my grandson, Connor, who was tragically stabbed and killed by a boy who lured him to the playground because he was tired of living and wanted to die himself. Connor was not afraid. He accepted the boy with open friendliness, as that was how he lived his life. Connor loved the idea that we should recognize love in everyone, and I hope that his book will be a catalyst for others to love more deeply, to forgive themselves and others more easily, and to cultivate compassion from deep within their hearts.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541094932
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 12/18/2016
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.25(d)

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Hey Nana! 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Coreeez More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars how to describe “Hey Nana”, other than say it is by far one of the most interesting, profound, and engrossing books I’ve read in a long time! I usually read fiction and honestly based on the description of this book I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle the tough topic (the murder of a young boy by another) The author Toni Nunemaker pulls us in to the story right from the beginning pages (which set the tone for the rest of this dramatic, provocative book), and skillfully narrates a wide-ranging storyline full of complex and deeply emotional issues. In my opinion it really is her personal and spiritual journey that made this story so good, so conflicted, yet so strong… we really feel for her and pull for her to get through some of it. I was worried in a few places! It’s humbling to realize how much we take for granted every day and I have so much respect for her for sharing this story with the rest of the world. Not only for her strength and courage to move on the best she can, but also by sharing her story so that it can help others deal with pain and loss and grief and maybe even hate. A memorable read and a keeper for sure. Great pacing and near flawless editing. Suitable for older teens on up.
LeoG2 More than 1 year ago
this book by Toni Nunemaker is a fascinating, horrifying, heartbreaking, and ultimately inspiring read about a woman enduring the worst of all tragedies and obstacles, specifically losing her grandson Connor to a child who wanted to die himself. Doesn’t get much worse than that, in my opinion. It’s not like a normal novel that has a plot and a storyline, rather it is more of a narrative re-telling of past events, to present day. The author reflects on her life, her emotions, and her experiences as someone who has lost a loved one, and her journey to being able to reach out and even make peace with the killer and his family. Some parts were a bit hard to take, as there are some truly sad events, but it has a positive, uplifting message at the end. And is very well-written. Recommend for anyone experiencing challenging times, or know someone who has. Probably best suited for mature readers.
RepoManJM More than 1 year ago
I admit I had no real expectations when starting this book, seeing as how I’d never read the author before and often times when I read bios or memoirs from non-celebrities, well, they are boring, for lack of a better word. But I was totally hooked and riveted by so many of the scenes in this book that I literally read the whole thing in a single evening…. Which is rare for me. I was so immersed in this book and impressed with the level of detailing on almost every single aspect. A lesser author would have glossed over some of these scenes that Nunemaker carefully and masterfully brought to life in a powerful way. Even little details, like visiting the hairdresser and having them say Connor’s name, then deleting him from the computer.. Wow. There are some touchy scenes here that are shocking and perhaps upsetting, but it is a mighty good book and worth a read. Oh, and great editing too. Recommend.
BenjisMom More than 1 year ago
Right away I was riveted by “Hey Nana!” by the shocking, unforgettable opening, and drawn into this story deeper about Connor’s life and death, and his family’s dealings with the unimaginable horror of losing him. I love true-life books about real people. I felt like I was a part of the story (instead of outside looking in – I hate that!) and the pace was quick, and there are many layers, each with its own lessons to be learned. I was in no way prepared for the deep emotional journey I would go when reading this book. The story of what she endured was absolutely heartbreaking, yet inspiring at the same time. I for one admire her honesty and candid insight into situations that many of us can learn from. I admire Toni Nunemaker and thank her for sharing this story and Connor’s legacy with the rest of us.
NikkyH7117 More than 1 year ago
I really liked how different this book was, yet it felt so shocking, honest, and comforting at the same time. Toni Nunemaker has endured so much heartache in her life, and is using her sad experiences to help other people see that love and forgiveness can conquer hate and suffering. Even if it takes different forms, different people can have hardships and obstacles that can have devastating effects on individual’s lives, and they may not know how to cope, often making things worse. This is an eye-opening account of one survivor’s tale that will give comfort and hope to those who need it the most. Some might think this to be a bit dark or depressing, but I for one thought it to be enlightening, and I appreciate the author’s candor in sharing this part of her life with us and taking us on the spiritual and Godly journey with her and Connor. Beautiful poems, drawings, and a great message at the end.
CodyBCB More than 1 year ago
"Hey Nana! Connor’s Story of Love” by Toni Nunemaker is an excellent book that captured my heart from the beginning, pulled me in, and never once let go. Each scene was engaging, informative, and flowed smoothly from one to the next… never a “dull part” where you get bored or want to skip ahead… in fact totally the opposite with the various shocking and dramatic interweaving life events surrounding the murder, and going from one powerful emotional experience to another. The descriptions and insight Ms. Nunemaker uses were very strong, and I mean with her word choice, making us feel like we are genuinely inside her head experiencing her life though her eyes as she deals with the loss of her grandson, and learning to forgive and move on in a positive way. I suspect this may be a one-shot deal from Toni Nunemaker based on the subject matter (it’s a bio/memoir of the murder of her grandson, Connor) but I hope not. I would love to read more from her in the future as her journey continues (including the relationship with the other boy’s family), as she has a natural gift for telling a powerful story that is enlightening and inspiring to others who may be in a dark place in their life.
JhonniP More than 1 year ago
I enjoy biographies, memoirs, true-life sort of books the most. So when I read the description and opening pages for “Hey Nana! Connor’s Story of Love” by Toni Nunemaker, I snatched it up hoping to learn more about this horrible crime and what the circumstances were surrounding it. But while one could fully understand if Nunemaker hated the killer and thought he and his mother were monsters, and we would understand, instead, she manages to find a spiritual solace in her love for her grandson Connor and look past the hate and grief and deal with it in a different way ----in a way that might surprise many people. It was a really good book, and written with a powerful message that demands to be heard, and reminds us that with God and love we can make it through anything. Recommend for older teens on up and will appeal to readers of true-life drama and memoirs.
-Cale-Owens- More than 1 year ago
I am a bit on the fence on this book, and due to the sensitive subject matter I feel a bit awkward pointing out some stuff that didn’t work for me. Because truthfully overall it was a very eye-opening and powerful read, if not quite sad, but peppered with strength and forgiveness. I suppose parts of me just had a tough time reading about the extreme details of this event, as I feel we could have understood what happened without needing to know the blow-by-blow of this gruesome crime, and perhaps focused more on the people and their feelings. Would have liked to hear more ‘positive’ stories about Connor too, and perhaps delved more into the ways that the ‘system’ was sort of to blame for what happened too. But with that said, this was still a very good book and I think it is definitely worth a read. Toni Nunemaker writes from the heart and with great passion, manages to handle very emotional and uncomfortable topics with grace. There are no pity parties, or wallowing in misery (unless serving a purpose)… just an easy to read, engaging narrative that is inspiring and honest, and stays rooted in the sense of the terrible circumstances around her. A book that celebrates life, love and the ways that we can be blessed even when we don’t realize it at the time.
SBEACHER More than 1 year ago
"Hey Nana!” by Toni Nunemaker is an incredible book (true memoir) about an incredible life cut short due to senseless violence, and the aftermath of his family (including his loving ‘nana”, the author) who reels with guilt and a myriad of harsh emotions. This was such an interesting story and truthfully, much more eye-opening and enlightening than I was expecting. I thought the premise sounded intriguing enough, but I thought it would be more of a depressing downer, and was actually more ‘uplifting’ than I was expecting. I appreciated the way Nunemaker was able to tell this story in an engaging and readable manner, and presented in a ‘novel-like’ way as opposed to some dry narrative text of information. This way we genuinely feel what she is and see everything through her eyes. There is a spiritual component that is done very well and added to the story, without overshadowing it. The writing is crisp, clear, and eloquent and the pacing was excellent throughout. I was interested in this story right from the beginning and didn’t stop until the very last page. I thought the editing and formatting was great and overall had a very professional feel to it. Fans of nonfiction and memoirs will enjoy this. In my opinion this book has great crossover appeal.
SDecker More than 1 year ago
"Hey Nana! Connor’s Story of Love” from Toni Nunemaker isn’t exactly my typical reading fare to say the least, as I generally gravitate toward lighthearted romantic comedies. And while this wasn’t exactly ‘lighthearted” there was a wonderful, powerful and moving story here. Because this is based on a real life event, the murder of a young boy by another young boy, it hit home all the more, and I was so intrigued learning about the author Toni Nunemaker and her family (especially Connor), and how she endured her pain of the murder of her grandson. I thoroughly commend the author on writing this captivating book and sharing her experiences with this terrible tragedy with the rest of us. Nunemaker writes so eloquently and holds nothing back— it was like a friend telling me a story from the bottom of her heart, and it touched me in mine. It’s engaging and emotional without being melodramatic. Just open, honest, real, and painful. Really liked the ending and the inspiring message that Nunemaker delivers here. Highly recommended.
SamRyan More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars "Hey Nana! Connor’s Story of Love” by Toni Nunemaker is written for a wide audience, in my opinion, despite one’s personal circumstances. There are some timely and relevant life lessons here from never giving into hate and giving up, no matter how bleak and dark your life might be and that with the strength of love and family and faith in God you can get through even the worst of times. It is nice to read about someone else who has ‘been there, done that” and the fact that her experiences have been so incredibly challenging, it makes her message all the more valid in the sense that if she can make it through the darkness and troubled times so can anyone who has experienced tragic loss. A wonderful message for anyone, I think. I found myself being completely invested and touched by this author’s story, with all the challenges involved. Her experiences aren’t what one would call ‘normal’, but yet her pain and suffering and sense of devastation and a desire to heal is something everyone can understand. I found myself tearing up more than once, and thought that Ms. Nunemaker’s writing was poignant and authentic----like she was talking to me. An amazing book that I truly hope finds a wide audience because I do feel that so many could benefit from reading it and would really enjoy it. And I loved the drawings throughout!
KMatthews More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book by Toni Nunemaker (even though ‘enjoy’ seems an odd word to use here due to the sensitive subject matter), and the fact that it is about her true life and her grandson is extremely interesting. I hadn’t heard of this tragedy before – I avoid the news for this very reason. So heartbreaking! But I thought it was excellently written, and in a very genuine, natural tone. It definitely kept my attention from the opening to the finish. It is a relatively fast read, one I finished in the course of a few evenings. I was surprised by how much her story moved me, and I felt like I could relate on some level—like at parts she was almost talking to me, even though I’ve never experienced such a tragedy myself (thank God). She manages to elicit our sympathy, but not our pity – which is nice. I was genuinely surprised at a few things that happened, and thought the pacing, the narrative flow, and the editing was great. Much better than I was expecting, honestly. I thought the story sounded intriguing enough when I decided to read it, but I thought it was much more powerfully and emotionally executed than I originally thought it would be. The writing is crisp, clear, and eloquent and the pacing was excellent throughout. I was interested in this story right from the beginning. Each scene really brought something to the table, and I liked that as we read Toni Nunemaker’s story, she just seems so “human” and very well-realized… like a real person going through life-changing events that we could relate to on some level, even if not literally having experienced it for ourselves. Fans of nonfiction and memoirs will appreciate this.
DarleneCupp More than 1 year ago
I admit at first I wasn’t sure what to really expect on reading this book, but I was intrigued by the description that this was a real case that happened (a young boy in MI murdered by another young boy on a playground). I have dealt with the unexpected and tragic loss of a loved one, and I know what and extreme challenge it can be to live with. I was curious to read about a woman writing a first-hand account of her experiences. Toni Nunemaker’s story seems one that would make for a remarkable tale of inspiration and showing strength over devastating adversity, and I was completely blown away by how absolutely riveting this book was from start to finish. I feel like I got to know Ms. Nunemaker and her family (including Connor) personally and am in awe at what an utterly remarkable and strong human she is. Even though this book touches on some deeply sad subjects, the overriding theme of ‘Love’ is always present and very powerful. I enjoyed reading this and thought it was so very insightful and intelligently constructed in a way that is quite enlightening and flows well. Enjoyed the lovely artwork throughout, and thought the ending was very powerful. A great addition to the genre.
MaxG456 More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars "Hey Nana!” by Toni Nunemaker is a touching, intimate, in-depth look at the challenging (mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) ordeal she and her family went through due to her grandson Connor’s murder. What I respected most about this book was that even though it talked of a sad, difficult subject and of struggles and heartache, it is also a story of hope and God’s love and perseverance and finding strength in forgiveness. A great support book that is both encouraging and inspiring. Well written, and easy to get lost in, even if some parts are genuinely difficult to read. I had tears in my eyes several times, and by the end I felt I knew Toni and her family personally. Powerful, unforgettable stuff. Probably best suited for older readers due to disturbing subject matter
NicolaF More than 1 year ago
"Hey Nana!” By Toni Nunemaker was amazing. I finished it a few weeks ago and am still digesting it. I haven’t read anything like that in a long time, if ever. It is rare to read a book that is so profound and heartbreaking, but at the same time inspiring and sheds light in a topic that many might not want to read about, which is understandable, but there is such a great message here. Regardless of circumstances, tragedy, loss, pain and suffering afflicts so many people, and many times people just give into hate instead of turning toward love. This book does a great job of showing a process that one woman took under some really terrible circumstances in order to find the love that she knew her grandson would have wanted her to have. This story is told in a way that we as the readers can understand and experience through the author’s eyes. I knew this would be a deep book, but this was an emotional whirlwind rollercoaster that I was not expecting. From the beginning I was totally into this family’s life and feel like I made some new friends, including Connor. Moving and memorable, I am glad I read this and know that it can help others as well.
TabithaP1 More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars as I read a book, I always ask myself a few questions… was it well written? Does it have a clear plot (or point or premise)? Is it memorable? Does is affect/change me in some way? Make me think and feel? Would I recommend to others? If these answers are all “yes” then I know I’ve stumbled on something special. That’s how I felt when reading “Hey Nana! Connor’s Story of Love” by Toni Nunemaker. I’m not even sure that I’m necessarily the right target audience as I’ve never really been one to read this type of book before, nor have I felt that I needed to. However, I found myself completely immersed in this insightful, evocative and moving book and Ms. Nunemaker’s journey and her experiences after her grandson’s murder, and how she shared her learned wisdom at the other side. I thought it to be very powerful and uplifting with a strong message of hope and understanding. I am actually inspired to keep much of this in mind especially when faced with a situation where someone may have wronged me or a love one. Nothing on the author’s level, of course, but the message is still one that rings true regardless. An impressive read, and I thought her family is really brave and strong.
GillianH More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book much more than I expected to, as I’m more of the ‘fantasy-romance’ type of gal than the ‘true-crime’ type reader. But I was intrigued by the summary of the story and was pulled in by the writing sample. While the author’s experiences (having a murdered grandson) is different from many people’s lives, there is an underlying universal truth there to be learned, and I think there is something in this book that almost anyone could understand on some level on overcoming tragedy and making it through even the worst of times. It would be so easy to think of Jamarion and his mother as monsters, but I think this book did a great job of making them much more human and victims of tough fate as well. It is profound, candid, and intimate, with several disturbing experiences. But I am grateful that the author took us on this journey with her, showing her feelings, her experiences, and the lessons learned, and the positive ending that leaves us with a sense of hope. Recommend.
JGoldmanJG More than 1 year ago
first, I have to say that I don’t normally read books that are biographical nonfiction, especially about crimes (or murders), but I was looking for something a little out of my comfort zone and this book sounded intriguing because it is a true story, and one that is particularly shocking. But it appeared to have a positive message and spiritual ‘twist’ so I decided to take a chance on it. Well, I am most certainly glad I did. “Hey Nana!” is a brilliant book and very impressive for a debut. There is such strong, vivid writing, and Toni Nunemaker does an incredible job of taking us along with her in her life in a way that forces the reader to become invested, both mentally and emotionally. Great writing brought the story and all the people involved to life, and everything just felt “authentic” for lack of a better word. Dialogue, interactions, scenes, descriptions of emotions … As I read it at times I hated that it was a ‘true’ story, but at the same time the fact that is is what makes it so darn powerful. I’d recommend this book even to those who don’t normally read this sort of thing…try it, you’ll be moved in ways you can’t imagine.
MarcellaGonz More than 1 year ago
Holey moley, this book was terrific, which feels strange to say considering the heavy subject matter (death of her young grandson). But it is rare that I read a bio/memoir form a non-famous person that actually grabs and keeps my attention the whole way like this one did. I had a cousin who was murdered several years ago (shot) and so I have some experience in this area, and it was so interesting to read someone’s account of their experiences as well. Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop until I’d finished the whole thing. It was all I could do though not to rush it. This isn’t a ‘quick-easy beach read” by any stretch, but more like something you sink back with for a while and let it take over your soul. I enjoyed Toni Nunemaker’s “voice” and style of writing. The interweaving subject matters, from the murder, to the aftermath, the trial, trying to cope on daily basis, then later dealing with forgiving and befriending the young murderer and his mother were powerful, well-developed and not cliché. This almost feels like fiction, but the ‘true life’ angle made it all the more fascinating! The people we meet were all genuine and interesting in their own right and well-written, and I have to commend the author on the fantastic editing job. I didn’t see any mistakes, so rare in e-books these days. I’d love to read more from this author in the future if she ever writes more books. Highly recommend to fans of biography/memoirs, or anyone who enjoys a powerful, emotionally engaging book.
ElizaBEB More than 1 year ago
I am of somewhat mixed feelings on this novel, “Hey Nana! Connor’s Story of Love” by Toni Nunemaker. On one hand it is beautifully written with some of the most interesting and compelling storylines with her dealing with her grandson Connor’s murder and all that plays out afterwards, and I liked how it felt raw and gritty and real in subject matter, yet had almost a beautiful, literary quality in the writing. Especially liked the inspirational ‘quotes’ throughout. But to be honest this was just such a hard thing for me to keep reading about, especially some of the more graphic details of the murder. I know it is instrumental in telling the story, but for me it almost made me not want to keep reading and I did question the necessity when we could have gotten the picture without being repetitively living the murder over again and drawn out for so many pages (the anguish, etc). But it is a powerful story, nicely written, and I can see people really being affected by it.
essieh More than 1 year ago
to say this is totally unlike anything I’ve ever read before would be an understatement. I’m not sure how to even describe this book in a way to do it justice, because to reduce it to a simple summary is definitely not showing the whole picture. It seems to touch on so many elements, themes, and subjects in regards to the author and her family experiencing the horrible shock of losing her grandson Connor to a senseless and violent murder, and then all that comes with the following months trying to deal and cope with the loss, as well as what happens with the boy who was responsible for the murder. But strangely this book isn’t completely depressing or bleak… it is inspirational and beautiful and has some real profound moments that can make you see that even in the worst of times there is a way to find God and peace and forgiveness to heal. Smooth pacing, plenty of emotional drama, and amazing personalities, along with true, real life issues and events makes this a definite winner in my eyes. Recommend to fans of literary memoirs/bios.
SteffyC More than 1 year ago
Hey Nana! Connor’s Story of Love” is a true story and an exceptional reading experience. The narrative is concise, direct and honest, and moves along quickly. The author Toni Nunemaker takes us on her emotional journey that spans the absolute worst period of her life and her various struggles and emotional obstacles she had to overcome in dealing with her grandson’s murder. For anyone who may be going through rough periods in their lives, this story will give courage and strength. An inspiring and fascinating read well worth the time. This is the first nonfiction book that I’ve read on this particular subject (I usually stick to more lighthearted topics), even though I am a big fan of memoirs and the whole “personal struggle” element. What spoke to me most about this book was just the fact that despite everything else, at the heart of it this is a love story with herself and with Connor and her family and her God…one that is tested over and over, and we really feel the struggle the author goes through. So many ups and downs we feel like we are on a roller coaster… one with an inspiring ending.
LaylaM1 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and read the whole thing in one week, which is fast for me, (I have such limited reading time!) But it just seemed to go by so fast and I never wanted to stop reading it, even late into the evening. I was mesmerized by the story Toni Nunemaker tells in “Hey Nana! Connor’s Story of Love”… It is so powerful and real feeling, with wonderful “characters” we get to know better (including sweet Connor) in her life, and her horrible circumstances of his death that made me angry and brought tears to my eyes... At times it read almost like a soap opera, but other times like a drama, or even a tragedy. Hard to think it’s all real and that things like this happen in the world, but sadly they do. It so admirable and inspiring to read about someone who suffered such a catastrophic loss, yet managed to make it out the other end and find strength to forgive and heal. Too much happens in this book to cover properly in a short review so you really just have to read it for yourself… you will not be disappointed! It is admittedly a tough story to read about, but it is presented in an intelligent and warm manner that is compelling and emotionally engaging.
Darla_Ortiz More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing, poignant, and emotional memoir. “Hey Nana!” by Toni Nunemaker is candid reveal of the author’s experience with her horrible experience in losing her grandson Connor to a violent crime, and the following events that she and her family continued to experience in the aftermath. It all sounds like something out of a riveting drama, but it is a true story that garnered national attention, and Nunemaker is telling us about her experiences, including befriending the killer’s mother, in the hopes that we can learn from it. Ms. Nunemaker’s writing style pulls you right in from the beginning, and we see the ‘bigger picture’ of what the murder did to her and her family. For the most part I was moved and interested in reading of her experiences, but it was challenging to read at times too, and I had to take breaks and step away to clear my mind on occasion as things got pretty heavy. But overall a great read with a positive message, especially at the end. Very spiritual and filled with hope.
SherriWarner More than 1 year ago
4 1/2 stars I confess that I didn’t think I would, but I found myself riveted by this book by Toni Nunemaker. I didn’t want to stop reading, and at times I had to remind myself that I was reading a recounting of something “real” that had happened with “real people”, because it almost read like a made for TV drama! But that is what made it so good. “Hey Nana! Connor’s Story of Love” wastes no time in introducing us to the circumstances of Connor’s murder and sets the tone and style right off the bat. I was already hooked before I even finished the first chapter. Nunemaker does a great job as she sets up the scenes and grounds the reader in her world, and does a wonderfully convincing job of creating a believable backdrop wherever the scene is happening. The author also has a great “voice” in narrating these events to us, and the prose is clear and descriptive and at times even poetic. There is a lot of heartache and suffering in these pages, but there is a balance of love and hope and forgiveness and strength that makes it enjoyable to read. At the same time, you are all too aware that this is someone’s real life, her real heartache, her real struggle… so while I didn’t ‘like’ that part of it, I feel better for having read it and thank the author for sharing her incredible story with us.