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Paying It Forward


Favorites from Jon LaFever, Youth Development Specialist for Canton Leisure Services and a Canton Public Library patron.

Check our other Fave Five lists, too!

Jelly Belly

by Robert Kimmel Smith
1331782.jpg A story about 11-year-old Ned who struggles with his weight and the ridicule of his peers, before returning to school after a summer of camp. No longer overweight, Ned is able to stand up to the school bully. Growing up, I could really relate to Ned and found myself being motivated by him in my own quest to fit in and be accepted by others. (I checked this very book out multiple times from this library!)

Then Again, Maybe I Won't

by Judy Blume
1033869.jpg As a 13-year-old boy who couldn't accept or explain many of the things that were happening to and around me, reading this book made me feel normalthat other kids my age shared many of the same experiences I had. Realizing these things, and by reading this and the above book early on, gave me great insight, which enabled me to help my friends at that time, and many of the youth I work with now. (Another book I checked out from the Canton Public Library nearly 15 years ago!)

The Purpose Driven Life

by Richard Warren
1262775.jpg My Mom gave me this book a couple of Christmases ago, and it instantly changed my life. After reading it, I realized there is so much more to life than the material things, and that we have all been put here for a purpose. I believe my purpose is to help as many of Canton's youths as possible, which is why I have dedicated my life to doing so. I've read this book three times, and learn something new every time I pick it up.

Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential

by Joel Osteen
1337922.jpg Another book that has changed my life forever... and have also read three times. By applying these seven principles in my daily life, my whole outlook has become more positive, I am a better person to those I am accountable to, and life's challenges seem so much easier to overcome. A must-read for everyone!

Pay It Forward

1223925.jpg This is such a wonderful concept, we've painted it above the entrance of our teen center, also known as "The BLOCK." I feel I have been so fortunate in my own life that I want to take those experiences and share them with the youth of today. That is what all of the staff at the BLOCK are doing day in and day outpaying it forward.