Paint Your Hair Blue
DRAMA FAMILY MEMOIR BIOGRAPHICAL MELODRAMA
FIGHT TO SURVIVE
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, MY SISTER'S KEEPER, STEPMOM
TAYLOR. 11-16. BEAUTIFUL, ADVENTUROUS, WITTY, FEARLESS, STRONG.
SUSAN. 40-45. TAYLOR'S MOM. STRONG, HEROIC, LOVING, KIND, SENSITIVE.
BOB. 40-45. TAYLOR'S DAD. SERENE, CONFIDENT, PRACTICAL, FOCUSED.
COREY. 8-13. TAYLOR'S YOUNGER SISTER. LOVING, KIND, GENEROUS.
TAYLOR. 15-20. TAYLOR'S OLDER SISTER. GENEROUS, GIVING, INDEPENDENT.
ANDREA COHANE. 30-35. TAYLOR'S AUNT. WARM, LOVING, SENSITIVE, PRESENT.
Taylor Matthews is the main character. If you’ve ever loved someone with all your strength, mind, heart, and soul, Paint Your Hair Blue: A Celebration of Life with Hope for Tomorrow in the Face of Pediatric Cancer, will appeal to you. Your heart will break and soar, sometimes simultaneously, as you learn about Taylor’s fierce courage and unremitting resolve to not permit cancer to scar her spirit along with her body. As much as any drug or medical protocol, readers quickly realize that Taylor’s best medicine, and the one that worked better than any other, was the lavish and unconditional love of her father, mother, and sisters. You will come away from the book with a vivid understanding of how truly short and precious life is and a greater willingness to add more color as we go along.
Target Gender: Universal
New York, Houston, Germay
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: with a Publisher
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Year Published: 2018
Taylor Matthews was diagnosed with cancer at 11 years old. From day one, Taylor would not allow cancer to stop her from living a full and fun life. Her smile and laugh were infectious. She was a force of nature, a kid with cancer, never a “cancer kid.” She simply refused to let it define her.
Taylor loses her battle with cancer but her legacy of helping others lives on through her foundation which funds pediatric cancer research. The lessons she taught all of us will remain with us forever. We will forever be a family of five with my husband and other 2 daughters.
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Mature Audience Themes
Plot - Other Elements
Plot - Premise
Main Character Details
Name: Taylor Matthews
Key Traits: Aspiring, Leader, Perseverance, Extraordinary Powers and Abilities, Funny, Adventurous, Aggressive, Beautiful, Crazy, Confident, Empathetic, Heroic
Additional Character Details
Name: Sue & Bob Matthews; Andrea Cohane; friends; medical professionals
Key Traits: Leader, Outspoken, Skillful, Adventurous, Aggressive, Complex, Confident, Desperate, Extraordinary Powers and Abilities, Heroic
Additional Character Details
Name: Bob Matthews
Key Traits: Adventurous, Confident, Decisive, Engaging, Leader, Outspoken, Selfless, Complex, Educated, Heroic
Additional Character Details
Name: Andrea Cohane
Key Traits: Skillful, Complex, Confident, Engaging, Faithful, Funny
Taylor is a vibrant 11 year old girl whose world drastically changes when she is diagnosed with cancer. Her mother describes how her courageous daughter continues to live through hospital visits, chemotherapy and teenage adventures until her last breath.
Authors Writing Style: GOOD
Franchise Potential: FAIR
Accuracy of Book Profile
The book profile accurately reflects the book.
Draw of Story
Knowing that Taylor doesn't survive drew me into the story. There is no a happily ever after, but a real look into humanity, struggles and the human spirit in the face of adversity.
The story is very heavy because you are told Taylor doesn't make it. It's hard to see such a young life fight for so long to lose her battle in the end.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The hook is that a young girl fought cancer and lost, but lived so much in her 16 years and was loved by many. There are many recent films about young people with terminal illnesses. They can be dark and heavy but also full of hope and beautiful moments. This follows the same path.
This could have a large fanbase because movies like it have done very well and are critically acclaimed. This story is from Taylor's mothers' perspective but if there were more focus on Taylor's perspective and the journey through her eyes, it could reach the same young adult audience.
This could have awards potential. It is definitely a drama with ample opportunities for dramatic acting. With the right cast and perspective, it could have great dramatic impact.
Similar Films/TV Series
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, MY SISTER'S KEEPER, IF I STAY
What’s New About the Story
There isn't anything original about this story. It is very similar to other stories about teenagers with cancer and it is a true story, leaving little room to dramatize to make it more unique.
The lead character is Taylor's mother who is very strong and determined to do her best by her daughter and family. She fought for Taylor and questioned the decisions the doctors where making fr her. She was fierce and scared and vulnerable. She was a very real woman facing the biggest challenge of her life. She was flawed but resilient.
Uniqueness of Story
This is not a rare gem as it stands, but it is a beautiful story.
Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series
This is a beautiful story but it has been done many times. It is not, at the moment, unique enough to be a recommend.
A mom recalls details on her young daughter's battle with cancer. From the pain during countless surgeries and treatments to the saga of tireless parents willing to do anything to save their kid, the fearless spirit of a girl starving to live life to the fullest shines through.
What We Liked
Taylor's battle with cancer is an absolute heart-touching story, and it's impossible not to be affected not only by Taylor's will to live, but also by her parents' tireless efforts to provide her the best treatment while enjoying life to the fullest. Another outstanding feature of this story is not falling into cliches about victims of cancer. Taylor, a seriously ill but strong kid growing into a teen, is portrayed as a outstandingly firm girl who just wanted to live, give and receive love as any other girl would.
Film: Paint your Hair Blue would make a great adaptation for a film as it is a compelling story about a girl fighting all sorts of pessimistic prognosis about her health and still managing to enjoy life just like a healthy kid would - or maybe even more, as she cherished every moment intensely and taught her family and friends to the same. It is also impossible not to get involved emotionally with Susan and Bob's tireless efforts when it came to research, question, discover and try new treatments, doctors and hospitals at the same time they made sure Taylor made the best of the time she had left.
TV: This story would make an absolute great adaptation for TV as it portrays the ups and downs of a long pediatric cancer treatment and it follows not only Taylor and her family's journey with the disease but also the path of a girl becoming a teen with all the hassles that came along with it. The story is also very adventurous, with several trips around the world, a girl struggling (and many times overcoming) her own limits and having a lot of fun even though she was going through a lot of pain, uncertainty and suffering.
Key points: The protagonist doesn't fall into the cliche of a pediatric cancer patient, as she is strong, fun and witty; The family trips, escapes from hospitals and defying features of the main characters make the story emotional but also fun and engaging; Even though Taylor ends up passing away, the overall message is very positive and it leaves us thinking about the importance of cherishing every moment we have with the ones we love; The story brings to the table a great cause that is overlooked by investment in research, which is pediatric cancer.
Susan and Bob are a happy couple with three beautiful daughters. Life seems to be perfect.
Taylor is 11 when she finds it hard to breathe during a physical activity at school. When Susan, her mom, takes her to the hospital to see if everything was ok, their worlds fall apart as Taylor is diagnosed with pediatric cancer.
As Sue assumes daily care of her ill child, Bob becomes a cancer specialist after nights of research and talks to doctors all around the world in search for the best treatment.
As the family learns to adapt to the routine of surgeries and treatments, restless parents work day and night to make Taylor's life enjoyable and also do everything humanly possible to try to save their daughter's life.
The long battle include surgeries, medical errors, painful procedures, constant clashes with professionals, but Taylor doesn't show signs of weakness, teaching her family and friends an important lesson on the importance of laughter, presence and living life to the fullest.
Birthdays, halloweens, school activities, trips to London, Hawaii, Disneyworld, Sea Island, Georgia and Bahamas alternate with invasive chemotherapy sessions and life-threatening surgeries.
After a happy period of remission, the long and painful battle starts over again as cancer has taken over Taylor's adrenal gland and apparently dead tumors appear to have been active all along are spotted growing.
The brave girl, however, was not willing to give herself away to pain - pain which only the sensibility of her mom was able to spot at times, as Taylor wouldn't allow it to show.
The story also includes the painful journey of parents that were willing to do anything to protect their child.
After one more attempt of treatment in Germany, Taylor rests in peace - but having lived much more than initially predicted and not only timewise, but also allowing her life as a young woman blooming to unfold with all the happy events and drama any teen would go through.
The story also brings along valuable tips from Taylor's mom to people going through pediatric cancer treatment. Taylor Matthews' foundation carries out her message and works to help other children, in hopes they are able to have better outcomes and access to cutting-edge treatments, as well as live a long and healthy life as all children deserve.