Boonville — Local author Michele Spry (Midway, MO), visited Boonville's Hannah Cole Primary on Tuesday, February 12, as a part of "Kindness Week". Mrs. Spry has recently published her first children's book "Tom T's Hat Rack: A Story About Paying It Forward". The book is illustrated by Peggy A. Guest of Fayette.
This inspiring story follows Shelby Summers, a fourth grade (almost fifth grade) student, through her adventures with her neighbor "Mr. T.". In the story, Mr. T., Tom Tucker, has recently won a fight with cancer, and the two main characters spend a meaningful summer together working on a project to pay it forward in their community. Mr. T. shows Shelby how to stay positive by focusing on being kind to others.
Mrs. Spry challenged the students of Hannah Cole Primary to be kind to their classmates and pay it forward in their community. Two students at the school are currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Mrs. Spry hailed these children as "superheroes" who are brave beyond their years. The school is also participating in the Relay for Recess Elementary School Cancer Fundraising Event for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.
The character of Mr. T. is based on Mr. Tom Trabue, a Columbia businessman who is active in the Columbia community. Mr. Trabue was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in May 2012, and has been a positive and inspiring influence to many through this struggle with cancer. He is now in remission.
Jennifer Schenck of Boonville has donated a hardcover copy of "Tom T's Hat Rack: A Story About Paying It Forward" to the Hannah Cole Primary and David Barton Libraries in honor of her children, Jamie and Will. The book can be purchased through forms at Hannah Cole Primary, My Favorite Things in New Franklin, or Village Books in Columbia. Michele Spry will have her first book signing this Saturday, February 16 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Stoney Creek Inn in Columbia. Books will be available for purchase at the event, which is open to the public. A portion of the proceeds from Mrs. Spry's book goes to support paying it forward initiatives in the community.