When Shelby’s fourth grade teacher challenged each student to do something over the summer that will forever change their lives for the better, Shelby didn’t know what would be the outcome but whatever it was she was looking forward to it. Tom T’s Hat Rack, written by Michele Spry, is a refreshing story about kindness in the form of ‘paying it forward’. Spry defines the term as “a random act of kindness towards another person with no expectation of return on investment.”
As Shelby looked forward to her summer vacation with the Tuckers (Mr. & Mrs. T - her neighbors); Mr. T had his own idea on a similar life-changing project in which he solicited Shelby’s help. Soon they were ‘paying it forward’ in their community in a way that was heartwarming and inspiring.
The idea for the book is a breath of fresh air. Tom T’s Hat Rack is not the customary kid’s read of adventure and drama, or mystery and suspense. Instead it’s a very simple story of showing kindness to others and looking for ways to be helpful in your community. It’s the kind of story that will get children and adults thinking: “How can I help in my family and in my community?” Similarly, we can observe that Mr. T’s project made Shelby ask the same question, and soon after she devised a way in which she could help too.
Tom T’s Hat Rack teaches that change can begin with you and it’s a blessing to be kind. If you wanted to teach kids how to show kindness to others, this book is a great start. The author also encourages the reader to list (in the back of the book) all the ways in which you can be helpful in your community. It’s also an excellent book to introduce to a class (as an example) if the teacher wanted to get her class involved in community work.
Inspiring and motivating, Tom T’s Hat Rack, teaches not to focus too much on self but rather to put the word ‘paying it forward’ into action and do something good for someone! If you’ve ‘paid it forward’ or someone has done so for you, the author wishes to for you to share your story on her Facebook page.
Also, take a peek at the back of the book; a nice surprise awaits you there!