Thursday, January 23, 2014
Review of Tom T's Hat Rack by Michele Spry
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. Shelby and Mr. T join forces to give back to their community.
Tom T's Hat Rack is a feel good chapter book for kids ages 8-12. This book tells the story of Tom Tucker, known throughout the book as Mr. T, who has an almost grandparent-like relationship with sweet Shelby Summers. It is revealed early in the chapters that Mr. T. had suffered from cancer the past year and Shelby often went with him to his doctor appointments and chemotherapy. She would stay by his side throughout and often cheer up other patients too. In addition, Shelby's Dad is Tom Tucker's doctor.
One Summer just as Shelby is going to be headed to 5th grade, Tom and Shelby embark on a yet to be revealed project. Everyday Shelby arrives at Mr. T. and Mrs. T.'s home eager to get to work on their project. After the Summer is almost gone, Shelby discovers that the project they have been working on are hat racks for the cancer center.
Shelby and Mr. T. deliver the hat racks along with several hats, to the cancer center on a very special day. The sweet twist that goes along for this event is truly special.
Only a week later does Shelby decide that something more needs to be done and even lends her own allowance to get it done.
In the end, Shelby is awarded not by "what's in it for her" but by what she has done to give back.
I loved this book! The character Shelby is not your average going-to-be 5th grader. She is caring of others, sweet and kind. She goes out of her way to appreciate all of the teachers she has had, her friends and her family.
She works constantly to see what others may need before she thinks of herself and has fun in doing so. I think this is something maybe we all need to take a page from.
Author Michel Spry wrote this book based upon her relationship with her own Mr. T. who has suffered and fought cancer. She felt that she needed to give back and partnered with her local school district in Missouri to do just that. Even the purchase of this book goes to help the Pay It Forward foundation.
In addition, Michele Spry leaves directions in the back of the book for how to make your own hat rack to donate to your local community cancer hospital. She challenges all of us to find a way, even if it is small, to make a difference in our own communities.
This book deserves its 5 stars from me.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for my open and honest opinion. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours.
Where to find Michele Spry: