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Becoming Chloe Hardcover – March 28, 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (March 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375832580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375832581
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #534,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–Jordy, homeless, gay, and abused, finds a kindred spirit when he rescues fragile, childlike Chloe from a brutal rape near the abandoned building where they both live. Thus begins their intensely codependent friendship. When Jordy all but commits murder to protect Chloe, it only reinforces in his mind that they have no option but to leave New York City for their safety and sanity. And here, at the halfway mark, the novel takes a left turn: the teens hightail it out of the city in a beat-up pickup truck to discover America and possibly new lives. The arresting and gut-wrenching opening scene promises a gritty urban tale of survival, and despite some choppy, repetitive dialogue, Hyde makes the first half of the book succeed. But the cross-country trek quickly loses momentum with a wistful, near-philosophical shift in tone. And while Hyde's jerky, streamlined style reinforces the teens' pain, it doesn't complement their cross-country search for beauty and trust in the novel's second half. The results feel rushed and uneven, almost as if two separate narratives were merged to create this single slim volume.–Hillias J. Martin, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 10-12. Like 12-year-old Trevor in Hyde's adult novel Pay It Forward (2000), the young characters in her debut for youth are searching for signs of hope amid grim realities, which begin, here, with a gang rape on the first page. Seventeen-year-old Jordan tries to rescue 18-year-old Chloe from her attackers, and the two homeless teens form a fierce, siblinglike bond as they help each other survive the streets--a struggle that sometimes drives Jordan to prostitution. Both have deep scars: gay Jordan nearly died from his father's abuse; childlike Chloe can't speak directly about her past horrors, even to Jordan. At last, they strike out on a healing, cross-country trip in search of "beauty . . . maybe even some decent, kind people." There's a slightly contrived, teasing quality to the incomplete allusions to the teens' pasts, but the powerful questions about responsibility and forgiveness will affect readers, as will the characters who make their own family, and in doing so, find love, hope, and deep friendship. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

It is a amazing story beautiful written.
rosemarie tauck
I recommend Becoming Chloe to anyone who is looking to find hope in the world.
This book was one of the best I've read yet.
T. A. Heron

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on June 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In Becoming Chloe, Catherine Ryan Hyde's second novel, we meet Jordan and Chloe--two of society's broken and castaway children trying to survive on the streets of New York City.

Jordy is 17, gay, runaway, part-time prostitute and occasional thief.

One night, while sleeping in the cellar of an anonymous city

building, he overhears a gang rape happening in the alley outside

his window. By shouting out and scaring off the attackers, he

manages to rescue Chloe. Chloe, 18 yet childlike, is hiding behind

a facade of innocence, but occasionally the traumas she has faced

in her past loom to the surface. Jordy and Chloe quickly find in

each other a comfort and security that they both are lacking, and

become firm friends.

The simple and naive Chloe views Jordy as a safety net, and Jordy

faces this responsibility with a maturity and wisdom beyond his

years. Together they endure illness, violence, and the grinding

horrors of life on the streets. Although their situation begins to

improve, thanks to Jordy's perseverance and hard work, Chloe is

unable to cope and suffers a breakdown that alters their plans.

When Chloe decides that life has nothing beautiful to offer her,

Jordy begins a one-man campaign to show her otherwise...and it is

here that the true power of the story lies. Jordy becomes beauty

personified as he races to bring the world to Chloe before it's too

late, and they set out on a journey that will challenge them like

nothing before.

To Jordy, mountains, deserts and even the Grand Canyon are no

obstacles when it means saving someone you love.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Liz Virtue on April 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Without question Becoming Chloe is an excellent book for today's sophisticated teen. I hope they bother to read it. What is particularly interesting about this expertly crafted work of fiction, however, is its cross-over appeal to those of us who are well beyond the sticky years of adolescence. It would be shameful if today's jaded adults didn't pick up a copy, themselves, simply because of its "genre."

In other words, don't let the "Young Adult" classification fool you. Especially you cynical types who think nothing can escape your discerning eye and endearing bitterness. (I think you know who you are). You, more than any other group, need to be exposed to this book's optimism. Its gritty-softness will have a curious effect on you; perhaps leaving some baffled.

You will get the confirmation you need (about how rotten the world is) during the first one hundred pages. But then watch what happens. A softness will creep in, like an unexpected, unwanted attraction. Slowly it will gnaw on your dulled sensitivities. This will most likely result in the book being hurled across the living room with one mean-spirited flick of your wrist. You may even consider revenge against the author by ripping out page after page (of what should be recognized as mastery of description and characterization) and then designating such craftsmanship and good will as kindling. Stubborn as you are you'll probably try to ditch Chloe for good, and get back to what you're far more comfortable reading...Bush bashing blogs, global warming studies and all the wonderful things occurring overseas. While reconfirming your worst suspicions of the human condition you'll eventually find yourself glancing over your shoulder, wondering how Jordy and Chloe are doing on your coffee table.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Vicky on May 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Pros: I enjoyed the pace of the book. It moves along well, never sitting in one scene too long. Chloe's endless antics keep us amused, concerned, and baffled, and that keeps us reading. As someone who's always wanted to walk/bike across the country, I looooved the later sections of the story describing their adventurous trek around the states.

Cons: Jordy is too one-dimensional for me. He's too good, almost to the point of being boring. When Chloe is being attacked, he's concerned. When Chloe is going nuts, he's patient. When Chloe lashes out at him, he's forgiving. The only fault I ever notice is his brief lapse in self control when he steals the coat. Even when he's prostituting, he's honest and pleasant. Even when he's punching someone in the nose or smashing a garbage can on them, it's all to protect Chloe. It's also laughably unrealistic that this gay teenage boy is able to "put away" his sexuality for months on end. Jordy has brief moments of thinking this guy or that guy is attractive; even when he's prostituting, he's never lustful or sensual, he's just sort of there, like he has no interest in the sex at all. I doubt any 18 year old guy, gay or straight, would say that's even remotely possible. Of course, the author is female, and it seems she made Jordy the most female-ish male possible, so she could write him in first person and try to make it seem believable.

Also - the fact that whenever these two seem to be at the end of their rope and all out of resources, some kind benefactor ALWAYS shows up to give them a ride, or some money, or some food. Anyone who's actually been jobless and homeless can tell you that life does not treat you that kindly. In the book, someone is always "suddenly standing there" with concern and ready to offer help. Really?

So, it's a fun, fascinating story, but it's a little too short and lacks character depth.
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More About the Author

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of 27 published and forthcoming books, including TAKE ME WITH YOU, WHERE WE BELONG, WHEN I FOUND YOU, WALK ME HOME, SECOND HAND HEART, DON'T LET ME GO, and WHEN YOU WERE OLDER. New Kindle editions of her backlist titles FUNERALS FOR HORSES, EARTHQUAKE WEATHER AND OTHER STORIES, ELECTRIC GOD, and WALTER'S PURPLE HEART are now available. Also available is THE LONG, STEEP PATH: EVERYDAY INSPIRATION FROM THE AUTHOR OF PAY IT FORWARD, her first book-length creative nonfiction.

She has three new novels forthcoming from Lake Union/Amazon Publishing, including THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS in December of '14 and WORTHY in the summer of '15.

An avid hiker, traveler, and amateur photographer, she has just released her first book of photos, 365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE: PHOTOS FROM A BEAUTIFUL WORLD.

She is co-author, with publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE: A SELF-HELP GUIDE.

Her best-known novel, PAY IT FORWARD, was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries. The paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. Simon & Schuster released PAY IT FORWARD: YOUNG READERS' EDITION in August of '14. It is suitable for kids as young as eight. A special anniversary edition of the original PAY IT FORWARD is forthcoming in December of '14

LOVE IN THE PRESENT TENSE enjoyed bestseller status in the UK, where it broke the top ten, spent five weeks on the bestseller lists, was reviewed on a major TV book club, and shortlisted for a Best Read of the Year award at the British Book Awards. Both BECOMING CHLOE and JUMPSTART THE WORLD were included on the ALA's Rainbow List, and JUMPSTART THE WORLD was a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards. WHERE WE BELONG won two Rainbow Awards in 2013.

More than 50 of her short stories have been published in The Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train and many other journals, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog is my Co-Pilot. Her stories have been honored in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for Best American Short Stories, the O'Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in Best American Short Stories.

She is founder and former president (2000-2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation. As a professional public speaker she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with Americorps members at the White House and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.

For more information, please visit the author at

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