Summary: The book “Pay It Forward” is about a 12-year-old boy named Trevor. Everything began with the Vietnam War, which separated Trevor from his dad. One day, Trevor’s teacher, Reuben St. Clair, gave an assignment. “Think of an idea for world change, and put it into action,” he said. Those words made a much greater impact than Reuben thought. Who knew a 12-year-old boy could be so motivated by a school project? Trevor, with his never-ending determination, created a project called “Pay It Forward,” a movement that would last forever. The idea behind this project was to spread kindness around the world. One person would start by doing a kind deed for three people, and those people would then have to do something kind for three other people. If this pattern continues, then by the 19th chain, it would have helped over a billion people. That being said, kindness is sometimes hard to come by and there were many challenges along the way—Ms. Greenberg’s death, for example, or when Trevor’s alcoholic mom, Arlene, didn’t show any encouragement for this project. This whole project started with just one little dream, a dream to change the world and make it a better place. It took a lot of hard work and courage, but most of all, it required a lot of resilience.
Opinion: I think this book is very inspiring. It makes the reader feel like they can do anything because they have a 12-year-old role model who accomplished what seemed impossible. When I first read the beginning of this book, I thought it was incredible that a student the same age as me could start something this big. It shocked me a little when Trevor almost gave up due to the growing number of problems, because I was assuming that everything would go as planned. What even surprised me more was that this project was going under way without Trevor noticing! It was very ironic but very smart for the author to do, creating more tension and excitement for the reader. My favourite part of the book was the letter Ms. Greenberg wrote; I thought it was very touching and sweet. The only thing I disliked about the book was at the end. [Spoilers ahead!] I don’t understand how making the main character die would help the scenario in the book. It might be some writing technique that I don’t understand, but all I know is that as a reader I don’t find it very necessary or intriguing. Maybe instead of that, the author could have ended with a memorable quote or lesson.
Recommendation: I recommend this book for readers from 10-16 because if you’re too young you might not understand and if you’re too old this book would be childish. I think it’s good to start lecturing children when they’re young because at that time they can still take in the knowledge and use it positively. Though, as a child matures it may be harder for them to comprehend these morals and incorporate them in their everyday life. I would rate this book a 4 out of 5 because the book was really well-written. I liked all the characters and how the author portrays them. I also liked the moral which was to never give up and always follow your dreams. I didn’t give it a full, five-star rating because the ending wasn’t really what I expected with Trevor getting stabbed. In conclusion, I think this book has galvanised me to work harder and pursue my dreams. “Think of an idea for world change, and put it into action” – Reuben St. Clair.