Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward

A Novel

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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.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439170403 | 
  • April 2010
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Read an Excerpt

Pay It Forward

Chapter One REUBEN
January 1992

The woman smiled so politely that he felt offended.

“Let me tell Principal Morgan that you’re here, Mr. St. Clair. She’ll want to talk with you.” She walked two steps, turned back. “She likes to talk to everyone, I mean. Any new teacher.”

“Of course.”

He should have been used to this by now.

More than three minutes later she emerged from the principal’s office, smiling too widely. Too openly. People... see more

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