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Extended Audio Sample Pay It Forward: A Novel Audiobook, by Catherine Ryan Hyde Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.53 out of 53.53 out of 53.53 out of 53.53 out of 53.53 out of 5 3.53 (32 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde Narrator: Anne Pitoniak, Michael McGlone, Enid Graham, Liam Norton, Leland Gantt, Sharon Quinn, Gordon Weiss, Debra Monk Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2000 ISBN: 9780743519946
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Pay It Forward is a wondrous and moving story about Trevor McKinney, a twelve-year-old boy in a small California town who accepts the challenge that his teacher gives his class, a chance to earn extra credit by coming up with a plan to change the world for the better -- and to put that plan into action.
The plan that Trevor comes up with is so simple -- and so naïve -- that when others learn of it they are dismissive. Even Trevor himself begins to doubt when his "pay it forward" plan seems to founder on a combination of bad luck and the worst of human nature.
What is his idea? Trevor chooses three people for whom he will do a favor, and then when those people thank him and ask how they might pay him back, he will tell them that instead of paying him back they should each "pay it forward" by choosing three people for whom they can do favors, and in turn telling those people to pay it forward. It's nothing less than a human chain letter of kindness and good will. But will it work?
In the end, Pay It Forward is the story of seemingly ordinary people made extraordinary by the simple faith of a child. In the tradition of the successful and inspirational television show Touched by an Angel, and the phenomenally successful novel and film Forrest Gump, Pay It Forward is a work of charm, wit, and remarkable inspiration, a story of hope for today and for many tomorrows to come. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Powerful…with believable dialogue and shadings that make the characters seem more lifelike than they have any right to be.” 

    Chicago Tribune

  • “This novel has a steely core of gritty reality beneath its optimism: yes, one person can make a difference, can help to make the world a better place, but sickness, pain, heartache, and tragedy will still always be a part of the human condition.” 

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “[Hyde’s] book is…an uplifting, tear-jerking, and inspiring modern fable, with an extremely appealing young protagonist.” 

    Library Journal

  • “A quiet, steady masterpiece, with an incandescent ending.” 

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joanne | 2/19/2014

    " I read this one in one sitting. It was not at all what I thought it would be, and I enjoyed the interactions between the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob | 2/14/2014

    " I enjoyed this book because I enjoyed the message. I saw it after the movie and this is one of the first times where I can say I liked both equally. The book's characters were not entirely realistic or believable, but the story was as cute and touching as the movie. Now, if only the author knew anything about a complete sentence, perhaps the book may have been fantastic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lea | 2/14/2014

    " This book was not at all what I expected. I guess I thought it would be sweet and sappy- all about nice people doing nice things. But instead, it is gritty and raw. It is full of real life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaethe | 2/12/2014

    " While I like the idea of a social studies assignment to do something good, the whole story is just a little too smug for my taste. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenifer | 1/27/2014

    " Very simple and contrived story, which is ok because the author is trying to make a point, however, I found it a bit tedious. I like the message though, which is why I give it 3 stars instead of 2. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nikki | 1/15/2014

    " Great idea, but wasn't impressed with the writing. Felt too confusing with the changing narrators and points of view. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Guna | 1/12/2014

    " What would happen if every time someone is helped, they turn around and help 3 others? A 12-yr. old boy begins in response to an extra-credit assignment in his social studies class, and gets a surprising result. This is a very inspirational book, and an enjoyable read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alyssa | 1/10/2014

    " It, like other books, had junk in it I really didn't feel was necessary. I had seen the movie a LONG time ago and enjoyed it, and I did enjoy the book as well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 1/2/2014

    " It was a very good book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 asti | 11/15/2013

    " had read dis bout centuries ago... cool book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Luke Terry | 10/13/2013

    " Cool concept. But the book was just meh "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shanna Barney | 10/7/2013

    " I liked the book but the language was not good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alexis | 9/22/2013

    " I would recommend this book to anyone. A great, but simple story about an act of kindness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James Folan | 9/17/2013

    " At the risk of proving myself a complete girly wuss, I have to admit this book nearly got me blubbing. It's probably all highly improbable, but if you want heart-warming and life-affirming, this should do the trick. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carly | 2/18/2013

    " There have been a few books that have brought me to tears...this is one of them.Loved the story. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Celina | 8/11/2012

    " I did not like this book. I think its better than the movie but i dont like the movie either "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robin | 8/10/2012

    " Good book, especially for the beach. The biggest problem with the book is that I felt it skimmed the surface, rather than digging deep. But still a good, quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 4/22/2012

    " This was a fun book and an easy read. I didn't love the writing, but the premise of the story is a good one. It gave me a little bit of hope about the goodness of people. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelley Graves | 1/5/2012

    " in the same sort of a vein as tuesday's with morrie. but it does kind of make you feel good about the world, even if its just fiction. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christine | 1/4/2012

    " It was okay, I think I would have liked the book more if I hadn't already seen the movie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aaron Ritchey | 12/11/2011

    " Real people, inspired by a young boy's school project, leads to a inspiring heart-break of a book. Vibrant. Beautiful. Real. I'm a huge Catharine Ryan Hyde fan and much of the reason why is because of this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 K | 10/7/2011

    " Cried my eyes out. I read the whole book in one day...fantastic and inspiring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 9/11/2011

    " Great book, inspriring and should never be overlooked on the bookshelf.THis book will make a believer out of you that one person can make a difference- no matter how young. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Miss66 | 8/13/2011

    " The end was a tough, but I loved the book a lot more than I liked the movie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shauna | 6/23/2011

    " Nice writing creating the angst with new relationships and the commonly occurring misunderstandings that require some humility. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lee | 6/18/2011

    " Loved the movie, loved the book, love the concept "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 5/28/2011

    " Oh My God & i thought the movie was sad! wat a heart warming and heart breaking story. a little confusing at times but a definite reccommendation! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alex | 4/9/2011

    " I had to add this because while the movie was fantastic this book not so much. the basic concept is good but the overall story is just weird. in this one case I will say the movie is so much better then the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ideiosepius | 2/17/2011

    " Good story, great concept slightly diminished by average writing and clumsy litrary tactics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mandy | 1/10/2011

    " i loved listening to this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marilyn | 1/5/2011

    " You can nitpick the writing, but you are dead if you fail to be inspired by the concept of paying it forward. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ryan | 1/2/2011

    " Read this in 8th grade and from what I remember it was decent. Ending was unexpected! "

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About the Author
Author Catherine Ryan Hyde

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Pay It Forward, which has been made into a film by Warner Bros. She is also the author of Funerals for Horses and numerous short stories, including the collection Earthquake Weather. She lives in Cambria, California.

About the Narrator

Enid Graham is an American actress who has appeared in numerous television series, including Boardwalk Empire, Grey’s Anatomy, and Law & Order. In addition to her television and film performances, she has also lent her voice to several audio books, such as Standoff and Pay It Forward