Welcome to the KPL Book Club Blogspot

Welcome to the internet home of the Kilbourn Public Library (KPL) Book Club. The KPL Book Club meets at the library once a month. A book is chosen for each month and then members of the book club meet the last Monday and Wednesday of every month for lively discussion and treats. While we can’t offer you treats via the internet, this KPL Reads blog was designed for those of you who would like to participate in the book club but don’t have time to join us at meetings. Each month KPL staff will post discussion topics and questions to get you “talking”. Join in the discussion by adding a post to the blog. Click on the word comments below the post you want to "talk" about and write your comment. Be sure to check back often to see feedback and comments.

Monday, June 29, 2020

The Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group is reading Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde for the July selection.  Pay It Forward is a wondrous and moving story about Trevor McKinney, a twelve-year-old boy in a small California town who accepts the challenge that his teacher gives his class, a chance to earn extra credit by coming up with a plan to change the world for the better--and to put that plan into action. 

The plan that Trevor comes up with is so simple--and so naive--that when others learn of it they are dismissive.  What is his idea? Trevor chooses three people for whom he will do a favor, and then when those people thank him and ask how they might pay him back, he will tell them that instead of paying him back they should each pay it forward by choosing three people for whom they can do favors, and in turn telling those people to pay it forward.  It's nothing less than a human chain letter of kindness and good will.  But will it work?

In the end, Pay It Forward is the story of seemingly ordinary people made extraordinary by the simple faith of a child. (From the publisher.)

When Trevor first presents his Pay-It-Forward plan many dismiss it.  Why?  Would you have dismissed Pay-It-Forward?

Eventually, Pay-It-Forward begins to work, creating a chain reaction and becoming a Movement.  Why does the concept take hold?  What is it about the plan that inspires people?

The story is told through various point-of-view devices:  first-and third-person narrators, book excerpts, interview transcripts, journal entries, and central character shifts.  Do Hyde's narrative techniques work?  Do they enhance the story or make it confusing?  Why might she have chosen to structure the novel in the way she did?

What about the book's ending?  Sad, yes, but satisfying?  Does Trevor become a martyr?  Would you have preferred a different ending?

Do you personally follow the Pay-It-Forward philosophy?  Does this book inspire you--make you more aware of what you, individually, or all of us, collectively, could do --to improve the world?

Is this a religious book?

Let us know what you think of Pay It Forward.

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