Pay It Forward (Paperback)

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The internationally acclaimed sensation that started a movement of giving.

When his teacher sets a challenge to his class to come up with a plan to change the world for the better, twelve-year-old Trevor McKinney’s idea is simple: Do a good deed for three people and ask each of them to “pay it forward” to three others who need help. At first, the plan goes awry, and Trevor’s project seems valuable only as a lesson on the dark side of human nature. But then something amazing starts to happen: a vast movement of kindness and goodwill spreading beyond Trevor’s small California town and across the world.

Soon a journalist with a story of his own tracks down the source of the epidemic, 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.

In the end, Pay It Forward is the story of seemingly ordinary people made extraordinary by the faith of a child—a story so powerful it has inspired people around the world to follow its example in their own lives. Anyone who has ever despaired of one person’s ability to effect change will rejoice in this novel’s triumphant message of hope.

About the Author

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of twenty-five books, which include Where We Belong, When You Were Older, Walk Me Home, When I Found You, Don’t Let Me Go, The Language of Hoofbeats, and Take Me With You, among others. More than fifty of her short stories have been published in various literary magazines. Following the success of Pay It Forward, Catherine founded the Pay It Forward Foundation and served as president until 2009. She lives in California with her dog, Ella, and their cat, Jordan. To learn more about the foundation and other forthcoming books, visit

Praise For…

“Catherine Ryan Hyde accomplishes a very difficult job, with an easy, beneficent wisdom about the ways of the world.”

“The story is a quick read, told with lean sentences and an edge. . . . Hyde pulls off a poignant, gutsy ending without bathos.”

“The philosophy behind the book is so intriguing, and the optimism so contagious, that the reader is carried along with what turns out to be a book that lingers long after the last page is turned.”

“[Hyde's] fable speaks to the hunger so many of us feel for something to believe in that can give us hope. . . . Many of us yearn for magic. Hyde's book delivers an even more profound vision of what it may be: the simple magic of the human heart.”

“[An] entertaining and inspirational tale.”

Pay It Forward—a book poised to become a phenomenon—is a well-designed confection that author Catherine Ryan Hyde has executed with abundant skill. If you ever had a yen for the utopian, you will have a sweet time with this heartfelt fable.”

“[A] fascinating idea . . . well-written . . . the characters are interesting and complex and flawed and real. . . . Pay It Forward will get you thinking outside of its pages, as few books do.”

“[An] affecting tale . . . Hyde’s meticulously wrought, restrained prose imbues Pay It Forward with a transcendent power to move.”

“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?’”

“Hyde makes the unbelievable seem possible in a beautifully written, heartwarming story of one boy's belief in the goodness of humanity.”

“An extraordinary tale that, like its young protagonist, just might change the world. . . . Pay It Forward is a delightfully uplifting, moving, and inspiring modern fable that has the power to change the world as we know it—which would be a wonderful phenomenon indeed.”

“[Hyde’s] Capraesque theme—that one person can make a difference—may be sentimental but for once, that's a virtue.”

“An uplifting, tear-jerking, and inspiring modern fable, with an extremely appealing young protagonist.”

“The buzz is big for this heartwarming, funny, and bittersweet story from Hyde. A quiet, steady masterpiece with an incandescent ending.”

Product Details
ISBN: 9781439170403
ISBN-10: 1439170401
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: April 27th, 2010
Pages: 320
Language: English