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Extended Audio Sample Pay It Forward: A Novel, by Catherine Ryan Hyde Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (6,258 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde Narrator: William Dufri Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Catherine Ryan Hyde’s international sensation, Pay It Forward, is the moving story of Trevor McKinney, a twelve-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.

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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 by Angela Rowland | 2/8/2014

    " This is a very sad but inspiring book about a young boy who wants to help the world. He has a plan to pay it forward by helping people and having them help others. The concept is amazing and one that I wish could be applied. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Laura | 1/16/2014

    " The concept of "Paying It Forward" is compelling and worth doing. For that reason alone, I would recommend this book. I don't think the story was particularly well-written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Alex (Al) | 1/6/2014

    " What a moving book! It was sooooooo good! I wish the movie was this good! It was so awesome! I LOVED IT! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by 712 Grant | 12/11/2013

    " Pay it Forward was easily one of the best books I have ever read. It was very well written. It showed all of the struggles each of the characters had in great detail. I loved the whole idea of the book, that one kid could change the world so greatly with a great act of kindness. "

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