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Publisher's Summary

Catherine Ryan Hyde’s international sensation, Pay It Forward, is the moving story of Trevor McKinney, a 12-year-old boy who accepts his social studies teacher’s challenge to come up with a plan to change the world.
Trevor’s idea is simple: Do a good deed for three people and ask them to "pay it forward" to three others who need help. He envisions a vast movement of kindness and goodwill spreading beyond his small California town and across the world.
However, when Jerry, a bum to whom Trevor gave his allowance, returns to a life of dissolution, the project seems valuable only as a lesson on the dark side of human nature. But ultimately Trevor is vindicated. At first people don’t know how to explain the odd dip in crime rates across the nation, but a journalist with a story of his own tracks down the source of the epidemic of random acts of kindness and makes Trevor a celebrity.
Yet Trevor has problems closer to home: He wants his pretty, hardworking mother to see the softer side of his beloved teacher, Reuben St. Clair, a scarred Vietnam veteran who seems to come alive only when he’s in front of his class.
Anyone who has ever despaired of one person’s ability to effect change will rejoice in Trevor’s courage and his determination to see the good in everyone.
©1999 Catherine Ryan Hyde (P)2012 Simon & Schuster Audio
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Critic Reviews

"Powerful...with believable dialoque and shadings that make the characters seem more lifelike than they have any right to be." ( Chicago Tribune)
"A good read and an inspiring novel; fascinating in its implications. Catherine Ryan Hyde joyfully delivered me from 'if only' to 'what if?' to 'why not?'" (Richard Paul Evans, author of The Christmas Box)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 04-26-16

I haven't read a book by this author I didn't like

The book is almost always better than the movie and this one is no exception. So many details and dialogue that film just cannot capture. After reading this book, I downloaded several additional titles by Catherine Ryan Hyde - loved them all.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jerrilynn on 02-16-16

Touching and Wonderful

If you could sum up Pay It Forward in three words, what would they be?

Innocence, Beauty, Tragic

What other book might you compare Pay It Forward to and why?

The only book that comes to mind is "Defending Jacob" by William Landay. The stories are in no way similar. The comparison comes to mind because to some extent you are expecting a happy ending, and well, though there is some joy in Trevor's accomplishments, the ending cannot be said to be happy. In fact I think it is the tragedy at the end that makes me select "Defending Jacob."

Have you listened to any of William Dufris’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to any other narrations by William Dufris, but I will say this, you hear every character as a separate voice. He is excellent at drawing the pauses where they should be so that the reader can take a breath with him. He is beyond excellent.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Where Wonder Begins

Any additional comments?

So I saw this movie years ago. The book as so often is the case, far outstripped the movie. Things that took me by surprise included:

1. This book literally had me bust out laughing on more than one occasion. It was fantastic to have such sarcasm and wit mixed into a story I would consider a drama.

2. I didn't remember things from the movie that were present in the book, like the enormity of the project, how it had taken on a life of it's own, that by the narrator's introduction tells you has changed the world as we know it.

3. I do not remember Trevor meeting Bill Clinton in the movie. That was a fabulous addition to the story.

This book was such a great story because it is the ideal of what we could be if we as a society chose it. The ending is sad, but I would still strongly recommend this book for any audience 13 and up. It may not be appropriate for a younger audience because there are some items a parent would not want to have to explain. One example, to illustrate, includes a transsexual who experiences a great deal of violence.

If you have seen the movie, definitely get the book. It's worth every minute.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mrs. K. I. Richards on 03-20-14

book film was based on.

having loved the film I searched for the book. I found it on cd but gave up on it because of all the different narrators reading the parts.
I was so happy to find this version on audible, just one narrator who did a good job of performing the book. his female voices were passable because having a deeper voice it is harder for him to do them.
the only big difference from the film is that the teacher in the book is black.
if you like the film you won't be disappointed by the book. if you haven't seem the film I can recommend the book. good characterisation and plot.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Love audio on 12-23-14

Would love this in practice!

If you could sum up Pay It Forward in three words, what would they be?

Great listen, and a fab concepts...I'd like to start paying it forwards but how?

Who was your favorite character and why?

The teachers...encouragement

Have you listened to any of William Dufris’s other performances? How does this one compare?


If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Already a film

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