Catherine Ryan Hyde Books In Order

Standalone Novels In Publication Order

  1. Funerals for Horses (1997)
  2. Pay It Forward (1999)
  3. Electric God/The Hardest Part of Love (2000)
  4. Walter’s Purple Heart (2002)
  5. Becoming Chloe (2006)
  6. Love in the Present Tense (2006)
  7. The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance (2007)
  8. Chasing Windmills (2008)
  9. The Day I Killed James (2008)
  10. Diary of a Witness (2009)
  11. When I Found You (2009)
  12. Second Hand Heart (2010)
  13. Jumpstart the World (2010)
  14. Dont Let Me Go (2011)
  15. When You Were Older (2012)
  16. Walk Me Home (2013)
  17. Where We Belong (2013)
  18. Take Me with You (2014)
  19. The Language of Hoofbeats (2014)
  20. Worthy (2015)
  21. Ask Him Why (2015)
  22. Leaving Blythe River (2016)
  23. Say Goodbye for Now (2016)
  24. Allie and Bea (2017)
  25. The Wake Up (2017)
  26. Heaven Adjacent (2018)
  27. Just After Midnight (2018)
  28. Have You Seen Luis Velez? (2019)
  29. Stay (2019)
  30. Brave Girl, Quiet Girl (2020)
  31. My Name is Anton (2020)
  32. Seven Perfect Things (2021)
  33. Boy Underground (2021)

Short Story Collections In Publication Order

  1. Earthquake Weather (1998)
  2. Always Chloe (2013)
  3. Subway Dancer (2013)

Non-Fiction Books In Publication Order

  1. How to be a Writer in the E-Age (2012)
  2. The Long Steep Path (2013)
  3. 365 Days of Gratitude (2014)

Picture Books In Publication Order

  1. Paw It Forward (2014)

Standalone Novels Book Covers

Short Story Collections Book Covers

Non-Fiction Book Covers

Picture Book Covers

Catherine Ryan Hyde Books Overview

Pay It Forward

THE MIRACLE OF INNOCENCE The story of how a boy who believed in the goodness of human nature set out to change the world. Pay It Forward is a wondrous and moving novel 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 idea that Trevor comes up with is so simple and so na ve that when others learn of it they are dismissive. Even Trevor himself begins to doubt when his ‘Pay It Forward‘ plan seems to founder on a combination of bad luck and the worst of human nature. 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. Does his plan work? No. And yes it works wonderfully, but only after it has seemed to Trevor that maybe all his efforts have been for naught. The first person he chooses to help a homeless man to whom he gives his paper route money so he can make himself presentable enough to find a job disappoints him by returning to a life of dissolution and eventually ending up in jail. The second is a lady on his paper route, old and alone and infirm, and with a garden that needs tending. No sooner has Trevor begun to help her, however, than she goes and dies on him. The third person Trevor hopes to help is his teacher, Reuben St. Clair, a scarred, bitter, untrusting man who seems to come truly alive only when in front of his class. Trevor’s goal is to match him with his mother, Arlene, a pretty, hardworking woman who has raised Trevor more or less alone, but who Trevor feels has a lot to offer the right man. It proves not to be a match made in heaven, though, and Trevor’s dismay only deepens as he watches these two people come so close to achieving the connection he wants for them, only to turn away at the last moment. Failure seems inevitable, and Trevor is resigned. What he doesn’t realize, however, is that there really is a good side to human nature, and that the tiny seed of kindness and caring he planted has taken root. In neighborhoods in other California towns, and as far away as Los Angeles, there are others following the rules of ‘paying it forward.’ Soon fame comes knocking, bringing with it excitement and an unforeseen tragedy. In the end, Pay It Forward is the story of seemingly ordinary people made extraordinary by the simple faith of a child. In the tradition of the successful and inspirational television show Touched by an Angel, and the phenomenally successful novel and film Forrest Gump, Pay It Forward is a work of charm, wit, and remarkable inspiration, a story of hope for today and for many tomorrows to come.

Electric God/The Hardest Part of Love

From the author of Pay It Forward comes a novel that is both a compelling drama and a deeply moving love story, a contemporary reinterpretation of the Book of Job.

Hayden Reese once believed he could have it all. He had a wife he loved completely, a daughter he adored, and a new child a son, they were told on the way. And then little by little, his life came undone.

But this destruction mirrored a much older trag edy. Hayden’s life had begun to come apart years before, when his little brother died in an act of bravado caused by his insistence on playing the role of the cocky, confident son their father wanted an accident Hayden felt he should have been there to prevent.

Years later, when Hayden loses his son at childbirth, his ancient rage against the unfairness of life overwhelms him. Eventually this rage robs him of everything else he has loved in this life his marriage, his family, his home.

As Electric God begins, Hayden Reese is a middle aged man unsuccessfully trying to bury his past. He is newly released from jail, living a marginal life in a remote California town. He has just buried his dog, Jenny the thing he loved most in the world. Now he finds that he is also losing the woman with whom he has formed the closest thing to a relationship that he has known for years. It seems that God will never be done with Hayden.

Hayden refuses to give up, however, and after years of struggling, he experiences a moment of insight that enables him to understand why he has been tested so harshly by a seemingly unfeeling deity.

Electric God is beautifully written and carefully constructed, a fascinating and completely involving novel of hope and forgiveness. It is both challenging in its depiction of one man’s fall from grace and uplifting in its hero’s ultimate refusal to accomplish anything less than triumph by a genuine reinvention of spirit.

Walter’s Purple Heart

From the bestselling author of Pay It Forward comes a flight of sheer imagination: the story of a love affair that spans two lives, two incarnations but for only one of its partners and the many repercussions of a young life cut short by war. Michael Steeb is an aimless twenty one year old pot farmer living a day to day existence in an unfinished farmhouse in central California in the 1980s. He has no real plans or interests until the day he connects with the memories of a life that seems to belong to someone else, that of a young American soldier killed in World War II. Seeking answers on the Ouija board, he instead finds Walter, the spirit of the young soldier. Only much later does Michael come to understand that Walter is an earlier incarnation of himself. For while Michael is, of course, only one person, inside him are two dueling identities: an aimless, carefree pothead, and an angry young soldier who was unprepared for death and who won’t let go. Only the resolution of deep grudges and grievances will enable Walter to move on, to merge into his new life, and only Michael can effect that transition. Michael sets out to find Andrew, Walter’s best friend from the war days the one who talked Walter into enlisting in the first place and Mary Ann, the fianc e Walter left behind. He finds them married to each other and much the same as they were forty years before. Mary Ann is still open and knowing, and recognizes Walter in Michael immediately. Andrew remains guarded, closed minded, and skeptical, and he sets out to prove that Michael is the worst sort of con man. Meanwhile the romance Walter began with Mary Ann forty years earlier reignites between Mary Ann and Michael, despite the harsh reality of the difference in their ages, despite the presence of a jealous and defensive Andrew. Michael’s task is the near impossible: to lead Walter’s elderly mother and middle aged brother to closure and peace, to make Andrew believe this new reality, to deliver the truth about Walter’s Purple Heart, and somehow to achieve the forgiveness that has been absent for so many years. Woven throughout the story are the direct observations of Walter as a narrator from beyond the grave who slides through time correcting history, telling secrets, providing perspective on his life after death, and guiding the living on the path to his, and their own, release. Walter’s Purple Heart is a tightly plotted, fast paced war drama and a deeply felt romance, wrapped together in a unique twist on the prospect of multiple lives. In original and unexpected ways, Catherine Ryan Hyde paints an enduring portrait of a life prematurely lost, and the endless ripples of consequence that affect those who loved him, in a microcosm that sheds light on the true gravity of war.

Becoming Chloe

Meet Jordy. He’s on his own in New York City. Nobody to depend on; nobody depending on him. And it s been working fine.
Until this girl comes along. She s 18 and blond and pretty her world should be perfect. But she s seen things no one should ever see in their whole life the kind of things that break a person. She doesn t seem broken, though. She seems…
innocent. Like she doesn t know a whole lot. Only sometimes she does.
The one thing she knows for sure is that the world is an ugly place. Now her life may depend on Jordy proving her wrong. So they hit the road to discover the truth and there s no going back from what they find out.
This deeply felt, redemptive novel reveals both the dark corners and hidden joys of life s journey and the remarkable resilience of the human soul.

From the Hardcover edition.

Love in the Present Tense

For five years Pearl has managed to keep the past from catching up to her and her bright, frail five year old son. Life has given her every reason to mistrust people, but circumstances force her to trust her neighbor Mitch with watching Leonard while she goes off to work. Then one day Pearl drops her son off and never returns. They are an unlikely pair: Mitch is a young, unattached business owner, and Leonard is a precocious, five year old boy. But together they must find a way to move forward in the wake of Pearl’s unexplained disappearance. Their bond as parent and child shifts and endures, even as Mitch must eventually surrender Leonard to a two parent home. Is it possible to love the people who can t always be there for us? The answers will surprise and move you. As their lives unfold, profound questions emerge about the nature of love and family. Ultimately, this novel s richest reward is watching Mitch and Leonard grow up together, through the power and the magic of the human heart.

The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance

Reminiscent of…
S. E. Hinton. Very close to perfect.
The Philadelphia Inquirer

Cynnie can take care of herself and more importantly, she can take care of her little brother, Bill. So it doesn t matter that her mom is drunk all the time. Cynnie’s got her own life. Cynnie s the one Bill loves more than anyone. Cynnie s the real mother in the house. And if there s one thing she knows for sure, it s that she ll never, ever sink as low as her mother. But when things start to fall apart, Cynnie needs a way to dull the pain. Never say never.

This unflinching look at the power of addiction is the story of one girl s fall into darkness and the strength, trust, and forgiveness it takes to climb back out again.

Chasing Windmills

Catherine Ryan Hyde, bestselling author of Pay It Forward, returns with a provocative tour de force on first love a modern day rendering of West Side Story born on a New York City subway car and nurtured under the windmills of the Mojave Desert. The subway doors open and close, and in one moment Sebastian’s and Maria s lives are changed forever. Rendered in Catherine Ryan Hyde s stirring and evocative prose, Chasing Windmills is a poignant love story that will leave you yearning for a subway ride that is a fraction as enchanting. Letting go becomes the purest expression of love in this extraordinary novel by the bestselling author of Pay It Forward, Catherine Ryan Hyde. Both Sebastian and Maria live in a world ruled by fear. Sebastian, a lonely seventeen year old, is suffocating under his dominant father s control. In the ten years since his mother passed away, his father has kept him safe by barely allowing him out of their apartment. Sebastian s secret late night subway rides are rare acts of rebellion. another is a concealed friendship with his neighbor Delilah, who encourages him to question his father s version of reality. Soon it becomes unclear whether even his mother s death was a lie. Maria, a young mother of two, is trying to keep peace at home despite her boyfriend s abuse. When she loses her job, she avoids telling him by riding the subways during her usual late night shift. She knows her sister, Stella, is right: She needs to live in the truth and let the chips fall where they may. But she still hasn t been able to bring herself to do it. And soon he will expect her paycheck to arrive. When Sebastian and Maria wind up on the same train, their eyes meet across the subway car, and these two strangers find a connection that neither can explain or ignore. Together they dream of a new future, agreeing to run away and find Sebastian s grandmother in the Mojave Desert. But Maria doesn t know Sebastian is only seventeen. And Sebastian doesn t know Maria has children until the moment they leave. Ultimately, Maria brings one child, her daughter. Can she really leave her little boy behind? And, if not, what will it cost her to face her furious jilted abuser?In this tremendously moving novel, Catherine Ryan Hyde shows us how two people trapped by life s circumstances can break free and find a place in the world where love is genuine and selfless.

The Day I Killed James

IT WASN’T SUPPOSED to end up like this. But it did.

When Theresa brings James to a party as her date, it’s just for the night…
and he knows that. But when everything goes horribly wrong, James drives his motorcycle off a cliff-and Theresa knows she’s responsible for his death.
Theresa tries to run away from the pain, becoming a new young woman with a whole new life. She meets people, of course, but she never really makes connections-she’s too scared she’ll hurt them, too. But what Theresa discovers is that you can try to run away from the pain-but you can never really run away from yourself. The only way out is through.

This compelling tale of love and loss is about broken hearts-and how to begin to repair your own.

From the Hardcover edition.

Diary of a Witness

One day, something’s going to snap…
. Ernie doesn’t have a lot of friends at school. Just Will. They have stuff in common like fishing. But more important, they have common enemies: the school jocks, who seem to find bullying just another sport. For the most part, Ernie and Will take life at high school in stride. Until Will has one very bad day. Now nothing is remotely funny. Ernie finds himself a witness to loss, to humiliation, and to Will s anger an anger that s building each and every moment. Ernie doesn t want to believe his best friend is changing, but he can t deny the truth. Soon he has a choice: join or die. Or can he find another way? Praise for The Day I Killed James: Teens who have experienced crushing rejection or who have laughed at the ardent feelings of a classmate will devour this original, gripping story. Kirkus ReviewsFrom the Hardcover edition.

Jumpstart the World

Elle is a loner. She doesn t need people. Which is a good thing, because she’s on her own: she had to move into her own apartment so her mother s boyfriend won t have to deal with her. Then she meets Frank, the guy who lives next door. He s older and has a girlfriend, but Elle can t stop thinking about him. Frank isn t like anyone Elle has ever met. He listens to her. He s gentle. And Elle is falling for him, hard. But Frank is different in a way that Elle was never prepared for: he s transgender. And when Elle learns the truth, her world is turned upside down. Now she ll have to search inside herself to find not only the true meaning of friendship but her own role in jumpstarting the world. Tender, honest, and compassionate, Jumpstart the World is a stunning story to make you laugh, cry, and honor the power of love.

Dont Let Me Go

Elle is a loner. She doesn t need people. Which is a good thing, because she’s on her own: she had to move into her own apartment so her mother s boyfriend won t have to deal with her. Then she meets Frank, the guy who lives next door. He s older and has a girlfriend, but Elle can t stop thinking about him. Frank isn t like anyone Elle has ever met. He listens to her. He s gentle. And Elle is falling for him, hard. But Frank is different in a way that Elle was never prepared for: he s transgender. And when Elle learns the truth, her world is turned upside down. Now she ll have to search inside herself to find not only the true meaning of friendship but her own role in jumpstarting the world. Tender, honest, and compassionate, Jumpstart the World is a stunning story to make you laugh, cry, and honor the power of love.

Paw It Forward

Isla is the best, the funniest, the cleverest, the most enjoyable writer in Scotland today…
. you would enrich your life beyond all measure by discovering Isla Dewar. Robin Pilcher, New York Times bestselling author

In this funny and charming novel, Megs is a woman whose ordinary life is about to become absolutely extraordinary…
When Megs became a house cleaner to make ends meet as a single mother of three, she didn t realize that people would be so blinded by the cleansers and mops, they would fail to see her as an actual human being. As the housekeeper she’s become invisible to them all. Little do these upper crust clients realize that her life is just as full as theirs, although perhaps a bit less high end.
Megs sings the sultry blues at a club each weekend, begins a secret affair, and drinks her troubles away with her saucy best friend, Lorraine all while trying to keep her children happy and her head above water. But with help from an eccentric professor whose house she cleans, her life is about to get a shot in the arm. Megs begins to speak her mind, stand up for herself, and live her life in color.
Poignant and incredibly witty, Giving Up On Ordinary is a heartwarming story with laughter and surprises on every page. Following in the incredible footsteps of Maeve Binchy and Joanna Trollope, Isla Dewar has established herself as one of the greatest voices in women s fiction today.

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