Pay it Forward

Plot summary

  • A young boy implements a plan of doing large favors for three people and then, when they ask how to pay it back, he invites them to “pay it forward” instead to three more people.
  • An alcoholic single mother struggles to maintain her newly acquired sobriety while she sorts through her trying relationships with men, both past and present.
  • A middle-aged African American, with a disfigured face due to a nearly fatal accident he received serving in Vietnam, moves into a small town in California. The accident left a scars on his face and heart. He loves the children he teaches and tries to help them see the world in a new way.


Wow. I just reread this book for the second time. I started reading it around 11:00 pm, thinking to fall asleep to it. Instead, it kept me up all night, rivited to the pages. I finished around 6:00 this morning.

While reading it, I decided to censor the book. When I saw the film and when I read the book, it was too illicit for me in a few places. On this, my second reading, I was both surprised and glad to note that I had failed to remember some of the portions that made me feel uncomfortable. I took a ball point pen and marked out about a pages’ worth of words, in about five different places in the book. I wish the book (and the film) didn’t need to be censored. The story is so wonderful; the message powerfully invites you to look around you and serve others, to pay it forward.


I strongly recommend that you learn about the philosophy behind “pay it forward”. If you have access to it, I strongly recommend that you read my censored copy of the book. If not, I honestly cannot recommend the book without reservations. If you want more details, simply ask me directly.

jcarroll 07:29, 7 April 2007 (MDT)