Kathleen Hagen's Reviews > Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde
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Apr 03, 2012

Read in April, 2012

Pay It Forward, by Catherine Ryan Hyde, Narrated by William Dufris, Produced by Simon and Schuster Audio,Downloaded from audible.com.

A freelance journalist hears that crime seems to be decreasing in some of the big cities for no reason the police can explain. It seems to trace back to one gang banger who now claims to have developed the theory of helping three people and asking them to “pay it forward” to help three more people etc. But as the journalist digs, he finds out that the idea really originated with Trevor McKinney, a junior high student who accepted his social studies teacher’s extra credits challenge to find an idea that would change the world. Trevor thought this idea would change the world if each three people helped “paid it forward” and helped three more people. But Trevor thinks his own experiment has failed when he tries to help three people. He uses his own money to help an alcoholic get a job, but he gets into trouble and loses that job. He keeps up the garden of an old lady with no one to help her, and then she dies. He tries to get his mother together with his teacher, and that doesn’t seem to be working. So he thinks he has failed. But it turns out that his seeds of kindness have taken hold after all and he starts hearing about the ongoing kindnesses spreading out. This book is a mostly feel-good story with some tragic elements to it. A story well told.

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