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If I Had a Hammer
Building Homes and Hope with Habitat for Humanity

by David Rubel


Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 300,000 homes around the world to shelter more than 1.5 million people. As the organization has grown, it has brought in such notable volunteers as Jimmy Carter, Brad Pitt, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. Among volunteers, the most common comment is that they always get more than they give. If I Had a Hammer is the story of Habitat for Humanity, how it began, how it's grown, and how it's changed lives and communities. The book is filled with photos of Habitat homes around the world and filled with the stories of the people—the volunteers and the partner families.

A partner family is the one who will receive the home after they've worked hard on its creation. Partner families pay for the homes over time through interest-free loans; those loan payments help fund the creation of more homes. They also help the families retain the pride of home ownership that they've earned.

Though I did wonder how much children in the target age group would get out of a book about a volunteer organization that mostly just uses adults, I know I found it touching and inspiring. The book is packed with quotes from volunteers and from recipients—but I warn you, it just might have you looking for a hammer of your own so you can pitch in too.

The Book

Candlewick Press
October 13, 2009
0763647012 / 9780763647018
Children Nonfiction / Ages 9 - 13
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The Reviewer

Jan Fields
Reviewed 2009
NOTE: Reviewer Jan Fields is the editor of Kid Magazine Writers emagazine and has written dozens of stories and articles for the children's magazine market.
© 2009