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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tom T's Hat Rack

Rarely do you find a children's book that truly emphasizes the need to give back in a simple way for kid's to understand the meaning, until now! Tom T's Hat Rack from author Michele Spry was born out of the inspiration of watching her good friend, Tom Trabue, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in May of 2012. Watching how positive and upbeat he was during his treatment was incredible. She is also living her life paying it forwards towards others as often as she can and enjoys the feeling of making others happy. She took those two pieces and began writing "Tom T's Hat Rack."

Michele's goal was to help the reader understand how important each of the characters are to the story. Shelby's parents and Mrs. T are active throughout the story, which was something she felt was also important. This is the perfect book to teach the value of paying it forward to others.

In this story, Shelby Summers, a 4th grader at Eagle Ridge Elementary School who has grown up as an only child. Having no brothers or sisters, she spends her afternoons and summer with an elderly couple, Tom and Kim Tucker, a retired couple that lives only four houses away while her mom, Karen, a nurse for Sunnyvale Children's Hospital and her dad, John, is a doctor at Clarkson's Cancer Hospital are working.

Shelby was as fond of Mr. and Mrs. T, as she loving refers to them throughout the story, as her grandparents. They have a long standard tradition of hanging out together as a family three nights a week, sharing dinner and the T's take care of Shelby while her parents are working. While her other friends looked forward to summer vacations spent with family and friends, Shelby looked forward to her time spending the summer with the T's. The rest of her family lived far away, but to Shelby, Mr. and Mrs. T, were her world. She had spent the last ten years coming to their house nearly every single day.

Last summer, Mr. T was diagnosed with cancer and had undergone six months of chemotherapy. Shelby understood that Mr. T had good days and bad and was looking forward to spending lots of time with him this summer. Shelby's dad was Mr. T's doctor and they all worked together to ensure that Mr. T got the best possible care in dealing with his cancer. Mr. T wanted to do something special with Shelby this summer and had agreed to keep it a secret. He knew after all these tough issues with cancer, he wanted to do something positive to benefit others and with Shelby's caring spirit and her enjoyment for doing things for others, she would make the perfect partner.

I won't ruin the surprise for you in what both Mr. T and Shelby are able to accomplish but it will be life changing not only for them but for those that benefit from their summer project. I received Tom T's Hat Rack by Michele Spry, compliments of Bostick Communications and Spry Publishing for my honest review and did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable one. This is such an important book to share with young children because the message in itself is powerful. It shows what compassion and servitude really look like when you're willing to extend yourself and really take the needs of others into consideration. I highly recommend this one and rate it a 5 out of 5 stars. Beautifully illustrated throughout, it challenges our kids to take own their own projects at the conclusion.

For more information about Tom T's Hat Rack, Michele Spry or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also follow Spry Publishing on Facebook to learn about some great ideas that others are working on with their own special projects and where you can add your own to as well.

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