Saturday, April 6, 2013

TOM T's HAT RACK ~ A STORY ABOUT PAYING IT FORWARD ~ written by MICHELE SPRY, illustrated by Peggy A. Guest ~ Giveaway

About Book

Shelby Summers has a zest for life that can't be tamed... Tom Tucker has a dream of helping others who are facing the challenges he faced not too long ago. Join Shelby and Mr.T as they join forces to give back to their community, and be challenged to do the same for yours!

  • ISBN-13: 9780988778238
  • Publisher: Spry Publishing LLC
  • Publication date: 1/2/2013
  • Pages: 106
  • Dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.22 (d)

Where to purchase: Amazon, Barnes& Noble

New middle-grade book tells a tale of “Paying It Forward.”

Columbia, MO – Acts of kindness are often inspired by someone we know or something we witness by a complete stranger. This is better known today as “Paying It Forward.” Michele Spry, who lives her life by paying it forward whenever possible, became inspired when a good friend was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in May 2012. Tom Trabue would soon become an inspiration to many.
Tom Trabue and Michele Spry at a signing.
Spry is excited to announce the release of her new children’s chapter book, Tom T’s Hat Rack – A Story About Paying it Forward. When Shelby Summers’ 4th-grade teacher asks her students to write an essay about something unforgettable they did over the summer that would forever change their lives for the better, Shelby wasn’t sure what she would write about during her summer break but she would be spending time with two of her favorite people, her neighbors Mrs. and Mr. T. But suddenly, the uneventful and ordinary summer she had expected becomes one she will never forget.

The story follows the journey of 10-year-old Shelby during summer break. Her perspective is forever changed for the better when her retired neighbor Mr. T, who has been battling cancer, recruits her to help him with a special project and Mr. T refuses to tell Shelby what their secret project is until it is finished. Patiently, she returns each day, as she is excited to spend the summer with her friends while her parents are at work.

Tom T’s Hat Rack is written for children between the ages of 7 and 12 years, but parents and many pre-schoolers have also given it great reviews. The full color 104-page book with 17 short chapters and almost 30 illustrations make for an easy read that keeps the reader engaged. Spry touches very lightly on the cancer in chapter 4 to explain the reason behind the hat rack.

As a Partner in Education, Spry remains heavily involved in her community in a variety of ways. An aspiring author for several years, she was finally convinced to write about Trabue and his inspiring behavior during a very difficult time in his life. Trabue has been cancer- free since Christmas 2012.

About Michele Spry

Michele Spry is a native of Columbia, Missouri and is proud to call mid-Missouri her home. Michele and her husband Brandon own their own business.

Michele espouses the spirit of “Paying it Forward” within her community by being actively involved in the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Network, a Partner in Education with Midway Heights Elementary School, as well as being involved in several other great organizations throughout the community.

Michele has been honored with the following awards: 2009 Ambassador of the Year, 2011 Debin Benish Outstanding Business Woman of the Year, 2011 Women in Business – Business Woman of the Year and is a 2010 Leadership Columbia graduate, 2011 20-under- 40 classmate, and a 2012 Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge graduate.

Michele tries to donate her time when she can. She is often referred to as “Waldo” because you never know where you’re going to see her! Michele enjoys spending time with her husband traveling or spending time with their friends/family. Tom T’s Hat Rack is her first children’s book.

Twitter: ms_spry

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Ends April 12th, 2013
Winner announced on April 13th, 2013

My Thoughts

Shelby Summer is so excited school is about to let out for the summer.  When school starts up again she will be in the 5th grade and her teacher will be the same teacher she had for 4th grade.  At the end of each school year Shelby went around to all her teachers from kindergarten and up to tell them goodbye and how much she would miss them.  

On the last day of school as the teacher is saying goodbye to her students she shocks them all by asking them to write an essay over the summer.  This was strange, who gives homework for summer vacation?  When the teacher explained she wanted them to write an essay about something they did over the summer that changed their life forever, the kids were somewhat relieved about the assignment. Some of the kids had plans to go somewhere on vacation and could write about that.  Now with Shelby she was planning on staying right in her neighborhood which was fine with her.  She was going to be staying with the two best people in the whole world, Mr. T and Mrs. T.  They have taken care of her ever since she was a baby so her parents could go to work.  She loved them like they were family almost like they were her grandparents.  

When she got off the bus she couldn't wait to tell Mr. and Mrs. T about her day and the assignment the teacher gave them for homework over the summer.  Mr. T would think that was funny, he was her best friend, they did everything together and when he was sick she made him feel better. 

Mr. and Mrs. T think that Shelby is a bright and friendly young girl and are always happy to see her.  Mr. T decided he wanted Shelby to help him with a special project over the summer.  They were going to build something and she would help.  She would also help him deliver whatever they have built, but he wants it to be a surprise to her as to what the  project is until it is finished.  

I would be way too anxious to know what they going to build!  Will you be able to wait patiently for the project to be revealed?  You will have to wait just like I did!  Haaa!  Haa!  I will tell you it is well worth the wait.  I will give you some of hints. They have to buy 4 x 4s, nails, paint, sandpaper and wood glue.  It will be very useful item!  

The author writes this story with her friend Tom Trabue in mind.  I found the story to be slow at first, but it is to give you some insight into Shelby Summer's character and the people most important in her life.  I felt this to be necessary to understand the story.  As you are pulled into the project it becomes a real mystery as what the project is, as it gets closer and closer to being finished.  This teaches not only patience but when working with wood and building things you get the opportunity to hone your math skills.  This also calls for accuracy in the calculations.  The companionship in doing the project with someone else is a major plus.  

Lessons learned were kindness, paying it forward and serving the community.  This book has definitely made an impression on me and I will do my best to put what I have learned to work in my life and my community.

I highly recommend this book.

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book from the Author, Michele Spry for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  This is review is my honest opinion.  

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