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Pay it Forward [Paperback]

Catherine Ryan Hyde
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
Price: £7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

8 Oct 2007

It all started with the social studies teacher's extra-credit project: Think of an idea for world change, and put it into action.

Whilst this proved a little ambitious for most of his classmates, twelve-year-old Trevor thought he would start by doing something good for three people. But instead of paying him back, he would ask them to "pay it forward" by doing a favour for three more people. If it all went to plan, Trevor thought, it would be the start of a long chain of human kindness . . .

Sound unlikely to you? Well a lot of other people had their doubts too - Trevor's teacher, his classmates, his mother, in fact everyone in his small California town. It could never really work. . . could it?

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Frequently Bought Together

Pay it Forward + Pay It Forward [DVD] [2000]
Price For Both: £13.67

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan; Paperback Edition, First Printing edition (8 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552774251
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552774253
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 16 novels including Pay it Forward (which was made into a feature film starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt), Love in the Present Tense (a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller), Chasing Windmills, When I Found You, Second Hand Heart, The Hardest Part of Love, Don't Let Me Go, and the forthcoming When You Were Older.

For more information on Catherine Ryan Hyde and her books, see her website at And while you're there, click on "Contact Me" and drop a line to the author, who loves to hear from readers!

Catherine lives in a very small town in California.

She also writes Young Adult novels that are completely suitable for grown-ups, and which her adult readers tend to enjoy as well. They include Becoming Chloe, The Year of my Miraculous Reappearance, The Day I Killed James, Diary of a Witness, and Jumpstart the World.

Product Description


"Heartwarming, funny, and bittersweet... A quiet, steady masterpiece with an incandescent ending" (Kirkus Reviews)

"The philosophy behind this book is so intriguing, and the optimism so contagious... a book that lingers long after the last page" (Denver Post)

"Hyde's book delivers a profound vision: The simple magic of the human heart" (San Francisco Chronicle)

"The story is quick read, told with lean sentences and an edge... Hyde pulls off a poignant, gutsy ending without bathos" (Los Angeles Time)

Book Description

Three imperfect people. One perfect idea . . . The extraordinary, inspirational novel from the author of Love in the Present Tense

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A touching novel 21 July 2003
By A Customer
Pay it Forward (recently made into an inferior film) is wonderful and original novel about a less than ordinary boy changing the world for the better. Twelve-year-old Trevor lives with his poor, divorced mother, he has a hard life in which he is almost forced to act grown-up. When a new teacher starts at his school and gives the class a project to come up with an idea that will make the world a better place, Trevor is extremely enthusiastic. He comes up with this idea: do a good deed for three people and then ask them to do a good deed to three people, thus as the chain grows, it ultimately leads to a friendlier place and populace all round. Unfortunately, not everybody is trustworthy and honest.
I really enjoyed his touching novel: the author really makes the idea come to life, as the diverse characters are completely realistic and the plot complex and layered. Many different stories are going on at once, but they all merge into a single idea. This book should be read by all, although it may not change our way of life, but it will give us all hope.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I first read this book a few years ago - a chance purchase before going on holiday. The premise sounded interesting - a young school boy with a plan to change the world in a very real way by carrying out three considerable good deeds. The philosophy behind his idea - that you have to 'pay the favour forward' to three more people.

This occurs in the background - the main characters almost oblivious to the effects of his projetc until close to the end. Iin the meantime, the story involves an exploration into many facets of the human condition; families, racism, selflessness, unconditional love, the break-up of the family unit..

I defy anyone to read this book and not be touched by the ending. I finished it in two sittings (and got sub-burnt as a result!!) and I can honestly say the sunburn was worth it.

It is one of those books whose philosophy, characters and impact will last for your lifetime. Oh i and I would give the film 3/5 as it really fails to invoke the emotional response of the book.

A must buy!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
All I wanted to do after finishing this book was phone someone and talk to them about it. I was in a daze and thought that I must do something, talk to someone, anyone!! I only bought the book to see what it was like before I saw the film. It is so easy to read,as it is in small chapters, which is brilliant for a mum like me, but I couldn't put the thing down. I very rarely cry at books but this had my sobbing and smiling at the same time. As you are reading it feels so real, as if you are looking at something that has really happened. It draws you in and won't let you go. Can it be so easy to change the world, but i speak like all the adults in the story who believe that human nature would not let it happen. But how do we know until we try. I have recommended that everyone i know read it and I feel that it should be used in schools to make children think about their actions. All I can say is FANTASTIC.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I was a little sceptical before reading this book - it was recommended by a friend, so I gave it a try. Having heard about the film and read the back cover, I was expecting a slice of all-American schmaltz, but was pleasantly surprised!
Catherine Ryan Hyde is an outstanding writer with a real talent for dialogue. Like the shooting stars in this story, the effect this novel has on the reader is to make them feel like they're just the same as everybody else and that we're all connected in some way.
And even though it's sadly unlikely that this book will change your life (or the world), it will make you feel hopeful and touched for some time after you read it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favourites 4 Jan 2008
By love reading TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an amazing book which is probably written for teenagers. The plot is so stunningly simple. I saw the film and it was rubbish and in no way captured the theme of the book. I can understand that readers of fine literature would find it beneath them but I absolutely loved it and thoroughly recommend this beautiful book. One of the best books I've read and I've read rather a lot of books in my time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Have you ever dreamed of changing the world? Have you ever tried? Too hard? All you need is kindness and a firm belief in the kindness of others. It sounds naïve, I know, but it is true.
Trevor McKinny is 12 when his new social studies teacher offers him a special assignment: come up with a plan to change the world for the better, and do it. His plan is so simple and so direct that it works.
Reading 'Pay it forward' was an exillerating experience. It filled me with hope and happiness. I warmly recommend this book to all the people around the world who refuse to think we are doomed and bound to do evil only.
Read this book and pay it forward.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pay It Forward Moved Me! 18 Mar 2001
12 year old Trevor doesn't know that his school assignment has worked, all he can see is failure. Still, something has happened & the idea he thought up has caught on & people are changing.<
While I don't consider myself an Old Grump, I was skeptical about Trevor's idea until I tried it out for myself. My, my! Suddenly there are all sorts of interesting repercussions.
There's a video of a country song that promotes just such an idea as Trevor's & I've always enjoyed the song. Doing good for others is a sappy thing, requiring only that the doer feel good about the doing. That's a subtle side-effect Trevor has to find out. While Pay It Forward is similar to Random Acts of Kindness, because of its exponential potential, Pay It Forward can snowball its way around the globe & it does.
This is the best of reads containing both a healthy dose of humor & tragedy, failure & success. A nifty idea presented in an absorbing way. Made me think a lot, ponder on the philosophy of doing good, making a difference in my lifetime.
A good read, sometimes as predictable as a farmer's almanac & sometimes breathtakingly simple. Highly recommended! Do check out my site for my full review.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking book a must buy
What a great book, it really does get a hold of you and the film is a very poor second. Interesting complex characters interwoven to deliver a top story Plenty of twists and turns,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by DC Magpie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book to read. you will never forget it.
Am looking forward to reading the book again.
Published 3 months ago by MRS A HARRIS
5.0 out of 5 stars please read this book!
Astonishing book,if only we could all grasp the concept,pay it forward,wouldn't the world be am amazing place? Read more
Published 3 months ago by lin
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Powerful Story
Unfortunately, I saw the movie before I read the book so I had a lot of preconceived ideas about what this 'should' be like. Read more
Published 4 months ago by JC
4.0 out of 5 stars Confusing but inspiring
This is the story – now fairly well known, due to the related film that was produced – of the boy whose idea to change the world took off, in small ways at first, and encouraged... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars Pay It Forward, a wonderful book, a wonderful idea
I really enjoyed this book, it is so inspiring, the world could learn a lot from this. I would recommend it to everyone everywhere.
Published 8 months ago by Janet B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and beautiful
I absolutely loved the story, simple way to make a big difference. Book is great written, the way you get involved in the chain from the beginning, makes you feel like: 'everyone... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Kinga Dabrowska
5.0 out of 5 stars Pay it Forward
This is a lovely, feel-good, well-acted movie. I never tire of seein it. Good for the whole family and certainly recommend it
Published 8 months ago by Inemac
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Readable
This was an excellent book, well written and easy to read. A young person trying to help others, asking for nothing in return except that they also do a good turn for someone... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Yvette
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a present
I was recommended this book some time ago and it is a super read, so I bought this copy for my daughter-in-law.
Published 9 months ago by JM
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