Pay It Forward Kids: Small Acts, Big Change

Nancy Runstedler
Fitzhenry & Whiteside (2013)
ISBN 9781554553013
Reviewed by Tracey Rock for Reader Views (07/14) 
“Pay It Forward Kids: Small Acts, Big Change” by Nancy Runstedler is a collection of real life stories about real kids.  Although the kids have different backgrounds, ages and nationalities, their stories all begin with the same goal: to help make the world better for someone else.  Whether it is tackling illness, bullying, literacy or homelessness, these acts of generosity and compassion have led a “pay it forward” movement that has impacted the lives of others all over the world.  
Meet Yash. When Yash had to go to school without glasses for a week, he soon realized how difficult it was for him to learn without proper vision.  Yash turned his week long experience into a chance to help others who were visually impaired and less fortunate get properly diagnosed and obtain a pair of eye glasses.  Yash believes that “seeing the impact that just one vision, one goal, can have is truly eye-opening because it shows me that every person can make a difference.  It is just about going out there and taking a chance and doing what you need to do in order to be heard, in order to make your mark.”
When avid book reader Maria learned that some children in her country do not own even one single book, she set a goal of collecting one million books and distributing them to underprivileged children.  Maria says she was determined to “make the world a better place, one book at a time.”
Tyler first learned about the human trafficking of children while watching Oprah one day on television.  What started out for Tyler as a fund raiser to save one child from slavery for one year in Africa, turned into rescue missions for several children and created a large non-profit organization teaching children and young adults about selflessness, giving back and self-confidence.  Tyler has helped rescue over 100 children and says, “We as kids have a right to stand up and change what is wrong.  We can do anything because we are the future.”
The kids in these stories have traveled to foreign countries, given speeches and workshops, set up fund raisers, started their own non-profit organizations, written books and even performed concerts, all because of their belief in a cause. They have captured the spirit of paying it forward and have inspired others to join in the movement.   
“Pay It Forward Kids: Small Acts, Big Change” by Nancy Runstedler is a story that can be read by anyone looking for ideas or inspiration.  The author has carefully written and illustrated this book to appeal to all ages.  The book provides additional information and even famous inspirational quotes throughout that makes this book a nice creative learning tool.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading the stories and found them to be positive and uplifting.  I think this is a book that would be a great resource for libraries and schools.

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