Gas Money Book by Troy Lewis

Gas Money Book by Troy Lewis - Gas Money is a collection of true stories told from the perspective of a six-year-old black boy growing up in 1960s Virginia and his soul-searching journey over the next five decades.  Packed with much humor, lots of inspiration and occasional sadness, Gas Money is a heartwarming, honest narrative that shows how the everyday people we come in contact with can shape our lives forever.


- BookLife Prize Semi-Finalist Award and Critics Report - September 15, 2017

The 2nd Annual BookLife Prize, sponsored by BookLife and Publishers Weekly, seeks to support independent authors and discover great written works. Out of 800 entries, only the Top Five books in the seven categories are Semi-Finalists. Gas Money was a Semi-Finalist in the Memoir/Autobiography category.

Plot: This is a truly engaging, skillfully told story, and it’s easy for readers to keep turning pages. The author’s perspective is distinct, while the inclusion of musical prompts is brilliant and the brief soundtracks for various sections are superb.

Prose: The author’s voice is fresh, varying between sweet and piquant and sometimes mesmerizing. The prose is a pleasure to read.

Originality: Stories of growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, and of desegregation, are not uncommon, but this particular story, the writing, and the main character are all delightfully original.

Character Development: The characterization in this story is brilliant. This uniquely talented writer has meshed all of his traits together to transmit the whole, absolutely real person. Secondary characters are fully flesh and blood individuals as well.

Blurb: This autobiography has it all—and beware the light tone that often arises; the words themselves have an undertow that you might not feel until you’re dangerously deep in the story.
— Professional book reviewer, Publishers Weekly

Read the entire BookLife Prize Critics Report for Gas Money on


 - Publishers Weekly Review - May 16, 2016

First-time author Lewis crafts a warmly told memoir about growing up in a small Virginia town in the 1960s, paying tribute to the people who helped shape his life and “all of the gas money you have been given—the angels and achievements, the devils and derailments that possibly influenced your life choices.” . . . This is an affecting and sympathetic look at the complexities of family life.
— Publishers Weekly

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- The Huffington Post Book Review - August 20, 2015

Gas Money is a terrific read. . . . Hopefully, this review will provide Lewis with the ‘gas money’ to take him even further as an author. It would certainly enrich us all.
— Jane Cutler Yepez, The Huffington Post

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- Soulivity Magazine - January 2017

If you haven’t heard of Troy Lewis, you will. . . . As a first-time author, Troy has created an inviting book about his life growing up as an African-American boy in rural Virginia. A must-read.
— Brian Westley Johnson, Editor of Soulivity Magazine
. . . In interviews after he published Gas Money, Lewis has called himself a child reporter. He’s a good one. His stories of growing up are descriptively rich. He captures dialog from 50 years ago that is fresh and real.
— Sharon Gang, Soulivity Magazine

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- Reader Reviews

Gas Money is unlike any book I have ever read - part social history, part autobiography, part family memoir. Troy Lewis has to have been the brightest kid around to be able to remember this stuff. Either that, or he kept really good notes when he was 9 or 10 years old! Since Troy’s story is partly my story, his book took me on an interesting road trip. We have all read biographies of the “greats” of the civil rights era, but here is the inside story of social change by a child growing up in Black culture in rural Tidewater Virginia. It’s true and real and gritty and hopeful.
— William Scheel, Former Headmaster at Christchurch School on
To coin a phrase, this is a “must-read” book. It has pathos, hope, joy, humor and inspiration. I picked up the book and found it so difficult to put down as I anticipated each new chapter with its delightful people and the gems of wisdom, insight and humor contained within the pages. . . . One cannot help but to be moved by this fast, most enjoyable read. Enjoy the ride!
— Carmella P. on
Gas Money is a book that gently embraces by warming and lifting your heart. But mostly, deeply touches while massaging your very soul. You will certainly be left reflecting upon one’s own personal journey in life. . . . I guarantee you will open your eyes as you contemplate some new found approach in your very own life or that of others. I sincerely promise you that much, if not more!!!
— Debi D. on

         Gas Money garners 5-stars from Readers.  Read more Gas Money reviews on


- The Virgo Girl Blog Book Review - February 2, 2017

Gas Money was included in The Virgo Girl book review titled "6 of our Favorite African-American Self-Published Authors"

Here we share our favorite African American independent and published authors who we can’t stop reading.
— The Virgo Girl Blog

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- Juniper Grove Book Review - March 21, 2016

I loved Mr. Lewis’ writing style. He tells his story as the memories come. Not necessarily in chronological order. I liked this a lot. It shows originality, which is one thing I loved about this story. The photos were lovely and gave me the feel as if I were part of his family. There were so many emotions flowing off every page: happiness, sadness, laughter and love. Overall I found Gas Money an enjoyable, heart-felt read. I hope to read more from Troy Lewis. I highly recommend to all.
— Sheri Wilkinson, Juniper Grove Book Blog

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   - The Daily Press Book Review - January 5, 2016

Is it serendipity, karma or luck when we cross paths with the many individuals who positively impact our lives? Troy Lewis, in his first book and memoir “Gas Money,” reminisces about the family members, friends, teachers and casual acquaintances who touched his life in big ways. He refers to these interactions as “gas money” since these folks nudged him in the right direction.
— Mary Ann Moxon, The Daily Press

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- Actionable Books Review - July 2015

Troy Lewis is a brilliant story teller and teacher. I couldn’t put Gas Money down. When I was a little girl, I loved reading “Little House in the Prairie” - the stories and lessons of Laura Ingalls growing up in the midwest over a hundred years ago. I was just as intrigued and learned just as much from Gas Money - the stories and lessons of Troy Lewis growing up in the south over fifty years ago. Fascinating.

I couldn’t put it down. And each time I had to, I found myself sharing one of Troy’s stories and lessons with my daughters. Troy courageously shares his journey and in so doing gives us all gas money to propel our own. Thank you Troy Lewis!
— Jill Donahue, Blogger for and Founder of Excellerate

  Read the entire Jill Donahue Gas Money summary on