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Extended Audio Sample Pay It Forward: A Novel Audiobook, 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 Dufris Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2012 ISBN: 9781442350069
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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 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 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 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 5 712 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. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christine | 12/11/2013

    " 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 Stacey Matheson | 12/11/2013

    " didn't like the movie, but the book was pretty good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 12/8/2013

    " not to demanding nice easy read and a good story "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane Mueller | 11/20/2013

    " Touching story. Saw the movie years ago but well worth reading the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Miss66 | 9/24/2013

    " 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 Karen Rae | 8/16/2013

    " So many people had told me to read this book after I described the concept of paying it forward without calling it that. I so love the idea that the book charmed me! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vicki | 8/3/2013

    " 12 yr Tevor Changes the world with is pay it forward(not pay back)idea originally a school assignment "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 K | 6/29/2013

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara Mitchell | 6/29/2013

    " love the idea behind this story and characters but slightly hoped for more "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 asti | 3/24/2013

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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa Gomez | 3/17/2013

    " the ending of this book made me cry. Like always the book is so much better than the movie. I truly was saddened but enjoyed it all the same. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel Brand | 2/17/2013

    " A wonderful book! Very poignant and thought-provoking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cyndy | 2/7/2013

    " Good, quick read - one solid afternoon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Renee Trull | 4/28/2012

    " I only give this book 4 stars (eventhough I loved it) because of what happens to the little boy!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Renee | 4/14/2012

    " I loved the idea of this book. I wish the world could really do this! It's inspiring. "

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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

William Dufris attended the University of Southern Maine in Portland-Gorham before pursuing a career in voice work in London and then the United States. He has won more than twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, was voted one of the Best Voices at the End of the Century by AudioFile magazine, and won the prestigious Audie Award in 2012 for best nonfiction narration. He lives with his family in Maine.