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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