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on 13 November 2017
I saw the film of this book A long time ago but can't remember it in detail only that the theme of course was the same. The book is much fuller and for me has a slow start so that I wasn't sure I was going to engage with it for awhile. I was taken aback to discover the book is stated to be suitable for the age range if 8 to 12 years. Whoever decided that I wonder? Both the sexual content and the style of the writing makes it more appropriate for older children I would think. The concept of paying it forward' is of course a wonderful idea and I only wish it was really true. The world could certainly do with it. It is written in an unusual style in that the characters appear to be writing a diary in a way by entering their thoughts and experiences. The young boy clearly is doing this, but other parts seem to have a narrator also. This does mean that the novel jumps about backwards and forwards from character to character which I found confusing and a tad frustrating throughout the book. The ending has a definite twist which in a way felt almost contrived but not to most reviewers. This is just my personal opinion and most reviewers have given the book five stars. I wouldn't read it again.
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on 7 November 2014
A book that if the world we live in was the one Trevor wants for us, WOULD change the world.

And it just could. I've seen the film years ago but don't remember feeling anywhere near as moved as I was in reading the novel. I finished having to wipe tears away so I could read the final pages.

A 12 year old boy, on being asked to come up with an idea to change the world in his Social Science class, creates the idea of 'Pay it Forward', doing good deeds for others and then rather than paying back the person who did one for you, helping someone else. Initially feeling his attempts aren't going well, the reader is treated to narrations by those he meets and just how they react to Trevor's good deeds and what then happens to them.

The story mostly stays with Trevor, his two-job-holding mum Arlene, and his Vietnam-vet teacher Reuben St Clair, and their changing relationships. Journalist Chris brings the story together with his investigations and articles.

To describe in any more detail is not necessary. If you're not sold on this book already, then there's little more I could say. It's an idea that by rights every human being should try to aim for - helping other people even when there's nothing in it for you.

Trevor is adorable. I just wanted to hug, protect and nurture him. Arlene and Reuben are a wonderful pair to watch pacing around each other, each damaged, each lonely, both awkward.

This won't take you long to read. It's inspiring, saddening and emotional, and I expect will stay with me for quite a while. Hope you can make time for it too.
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on 29 May 2014
Unfortunately, I saw the movie before I read the book so I had a lot of preconceived ideas about what this 'should' be like. I found myself comparing the two constantly when I first started reading. I really had to work hard to put aside these thoughts so that I could appreciate the book for what it was.

This is a very powerful, moving story. At first I found the style a bit difficult to read as it kept jumping around to different view points. Every time the perspective changed, it almost 'jolted' me out of the story and it took me a while to get back into it. After a while, I got used to it, but I have deducted one star for this reason.

The idea behind the story is beautiful and very inspiring. It is such a powerful idea that one person, one child can change the world. It also shows how inspiring teachers can be and how much influence they have over the children in their care. I won't go into detail about the plot as other reviewers have done that already but I will say that this book made me cry! This is a very thought provoking book and gives hope that one day the world can be a better place if we all do our part to help others.
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on 25 January 2001
I hadn't even heard of this book untill I saw something on Tv about the movie adapation that had being made. I thought it looked pretty good but had no Idea of how good it was going to be. I went and got a copy of the book at the earlist opertunity after seeing the movie and have just finished it tonight.I must admit that it did take a while for me to get used to the writing style(It is written in first person accounts of the events in Trevor's process of Paying It Forward)but once I got really into the story it wasn't a problem. I still find it totally amazing that someone could come up with an idea for a book that is not only totally engrossing but is an idea that absolutly anyone can do. That is why I believe that if only just a few people take on the idea of Paying It Forward and take a fictional idea and make it real then who know what amazing things could happen. To sum up. Pay It Forward is a book that will grip your interest right from the start and will not let up untill an ending that will leave you wanting to either leap up and cheer or reaching for the kleenex to stop the tears form running down your face. But however this wonderful book makes you feel,If you feel like I did then I know that your be Paying It Forward!
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on 17 January 2001
What an attention grabbing book. I am telling all my friends about it. I am going to pay it forward from now on. Read this book, although it was very very sad at the end it was truly inspiring. I am now off to try the rest of her books.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 December 2013
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so happy to be a part of Catherine Ryan Hyde's read and review team in the UK. I love her books and look forward to each one as she releases them.

This story was different to some of the books she has written about as in style of writing. I found it fascinating to read it from all angles, and from Trevor's point of view as a child.

I think most reviews have expressed what the book is about, and the extra challenge that was weaved in, Trevor taking this seriously did a superb job to change the world. I kept thinking "out of the mouths of babes" another cliche was " from small acorns big trees grow".

Its not often a book leaves me in tears. The last 30-40 pages just made me cave in. I was so reading between the tears in my eyes.

Catherine Ryan Hyde has such a unique style about her, there are a few authors that can do this. They move you to tears, passion, hate, fear, emotions that you have they can bring out in you. If an author can do this, they are doing their work properly, as life evokes emotions. So should books.

I felt quite enpowered after I read this, quite sad too. I knew why it had to end this way, there was no other way to do it.

Thank you Catherine for another amazing read.
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on 19 May 2013
This author can do no wrong,I fell in love with the first book I read Chasing Windmills and I was hooked. The emotion you feel for all the characters, draw you in and the next thing you know you are on the last page!!I have got the dvd and wanted to read the book first, A few things surprised me especially the teacher, completely different in the movie he is played by Kevin Spacey who is a white male in the book he is black and it does bring him problems in the story as I haven't seen it yet don't know how it will pan out, apparently this is based on a true story what a brilliant idea.....
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on 11 December 2010
Catherine Ryan Hyde is an accomplished novelist, but with 'Pay it Forward' she dos'nt accomplish a good idea for world change, and then put it into action. The main character schoolboy Trevor, doing good for three people, asking them to 'Pay it Forward' by doing a favour for three more people and so on, and so on, until everybody supposebly is in an ideal world. Lovely idea you would think. I did not enjoy this novel one bit, I found it very hard to get into the mind of the author on this one. Not highly recomended at all.
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on 9 November 2017
Love this book, second time of reading, saw the film years ago and enjoyed it very much but glad I saw the film before reading the book as I would have had preconceived ideas of the characters and been disappointed. If only everyone could take this up and truly pay it forward.
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on 23 October 2014
Beautiful story written in Catherine Ryan Hyde's usual wonderful prose. Her books are consistently brilliant and this is up there with her best. The story is inspirational and heartfelt and leaves the reader breathless and weeping with the sheer love of, and regret at the loss of, innocence, morality, kindness and love that is shown by the little boy. Life could be (and should be) the way he intended and humanity is the worse for not following such a simple creed. Magnificent. I loved every page of this gorgeous book.
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