Saturday, January 6, 2024

Review of Author Catherine Ryan Hyde

Catherine Ryan Hyde is a novelist and short story writer who is also passionate about photography and animals. 

Book with Book Author Catherine Ryan Hyde on cover

Brief Bio of Catherine Ryan Hyde

Catherine Ryan Hyde, author
Born in Buffalo, NY in 1955, Catherine grew up in a family of writers. She began her literary career writing short stories before turning to novel writing. Her breakthrough novel was Pay It Forward (1999), which became an award-winning best-selling book, and later a movie. She has written more than 40 novels and many short stories. Catherine also teaches workshops at Writers Conferences and is a professional public speaker. 

Hyde's Literary Works

Catherine's works are most often optimistic explorations of ordinary people, which I have found to be fascinating. Her characters are often troubled or down-on-their-luck or just getting over something difficult in their past. The characters in the story search for a meaning of why life is as it is. This 'making sense of life' often involves a young person and an older person (and quite frequently, animals) who find themselves working together to resolve their situations. As a result, we end up with central themes that are based on love and caring and a desire to improve. 

Pay It Forward Book Cover
In 2014, Catherine published a new version of Pay It Forward, a Young Readers Edition that tells the same story but was revised to complement teacher lesson plans and summer reading lists for students at the middle school level. In other words, students about the same age as the novel's main character, Trevor McKinney. 

Paw It Forward book cover
As another Pay It Forward follow-up, Catherine wrote a nonfiction book for kids starring her real-life dogs, Jesse and Ella, who inspire kids to change the world through kindness. The book is called Paw It Forward


To date, I have read about a dozen of Hyde's novels and am so taken with her writing that I have now printed off a list of all her novels and am currently reading my way through them. They are in the Family Life Fiction genre and each is a stand-alone novel, so they can be read in any order.

In summary, I have to say that Catherine Ryan Hyde's novels are 'feel good stories' which will leave you happily satisfied when you reach the end. 

Latest book by Catherine Ryan Hyde:

Life, Loss and Puffins book cover
Latest Book by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Due out May 14, 2024 - Preorder Here

More Catherine Ryan Hyde Novel Reviews:

  • Catherine Ryan Hyde Website. Click here for a complete list of her novels. 

For more Book Reviews, Click On:

*Review of Author Catherine Ryan Hyde written by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. I think I have to add this author to my list of preferences. I like novels that tell a story and leave you feeling a little bit better about ordinary life. We all need that sometimes. Thanks Pat Austin for this review and a new author for me

    1. You are quite welcome, Olivia. I always enjoy introducing an author I like to others. Hope you enjoy her books as much as I do.

  2. Your description of Catherine Ryan Hyde makes me like her without even reading one of her books. In my opinion, there is no creature created that understands how to "pay it forward" than a dog who just does that naturally. Thank you for the introduction to the author. I have read the previous book reviews, but have yet to read one of her books. I know that needs to change!

    1. You won't be disappointed, Mouse. Her stories are really marvelous.

  3. Your review of this author makes me want to work my way through her novels as well, Elf! Thank you so much for introducing me to her work. The world needs more kindness and paying it forward.

    1. Yes, indeed. I agree the world needs more kindness and paying it forward. Can you imagine if everyone did just one kind thing how that 'butterfly effect' would change the world!

  4. What a successful career she's had. I loved the movie Pay it Forward - So cute she did the kids version you mentioned above, lol - I admire this lady and her accomplishments!

    1. In addition to her marvelous writing, Catherine is also an accomplished photographer and astrophotographer and a deep animal lover, especially of dogs and horses. Her website is as interesting as her books. :)

  5. As you know, Elf, I always love your recommendations. This author will go on my to read list.

    1. Mary Beth, you and I have similar tastes in authors and their genres. Thanks for stopping by.


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