Turn The Page: Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde
I have to admit that when someone recommended to me that I read this book I was not very eager to take them up on their recommendation — there was something about it that just seemed a bit too touchy feely. I am not an un-emotional person, in fact the opposite is true — you can ask around if you can find someone, but books that cover that area? They are anathema to me and they are usually like poison in your eye, so sugary sweet are they. Not this book.
When I say to you that you must read it, please don’t go out there and get the film as if this were a task being set in school. The book is far superior to the film. I like Helen Hunt, I like Kevin Spacey, I like Haley Joel Osment — but the film felt watered down, prettified. Why did they change the teacher to a white guy? Seemed unnecessary. It seemed like another walk in the park — this book does not even feel vaguely like that. This book is one of those reading experiences that changes your way of thinking — the characters seem so much more realistic in the book than they
did in the film and therefore their actions resonated more strongly with me (I swear I am not just succumbing to that age-old problem of having read the book before the film). The book gives you a greater sense of what Trevor, the main character was able to achieve from that small seed of: ‘Think globally, act locally’.
The idea at the heart of the book is that when someone helps you, instead of helping them back you go out and help three other people — you have to do something ‘real good’ for them. If those three people then go and help another three people that’s nine people, and it can spread exponentially, as it does in the book — it can change the world, and on a small scale it did change mine. I won’t claim to have lived by the tenets of the idea forever after but I do have that phrase pop into my head more than once in a while. This book made me feel, care for the characters, but more than that — it made me feel for and care about other people; made me want to do something.
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