Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Power Of Half | Book Review

It all started when 14-year old Hannah Salwen, idealistic but troubled by a growing sense of injustice in the world, had a eureka moment when a homeless man in her neighborhood was juxtaposed against a glistening Mercedes coupe. “You know, Dad,” she said, pointing, “If that man had a less nice car, that man there could have a meal.”Warm, funny, deeply moving and wholly uplifting, The Power of Half is the story of how one family slammed the door on the status quo and threw away the key.  For their family project, the Salwen family is investing in the Hunger Project. For more information about that project and how you can create your own,www.thepowerofhalf.com.
This glaring disparity led the Salwen family of four, caught up like so many other Americans in this age of consumption and waste, to follow Hannah’s urge to do something, to finally just do something. And so they embarked on an incredible journey together from which there would be no turning back. They decided to sell their Atlanta mansion, downsize to a house half its size, and give half of their profits to a worthy charity. At first it was an outlandish scheme. “What, are you crazy? No way!” Then it was a challenge. “We are TOTALLY doing this.” Each week they met over dinner to discuss their plan. It would transport them across the globe and well out of their comfort zone. Along the way they would inspire so many others wrestling with the same questions: Do I give enough? How much is enough? How can I make an impact in the world? In the end the Salwens’ journey would bring them closer as a family, as they discovered, together, that half could be so much more.
$1 of each copy sold will be donated to Rebuilding Together, serving America’s low-income home-owners and providing critical repairs at no charge to those with the greatest need. For more information, visit http://www.rebuildingtogether.org/
I received “The Power of Half” book for review. It is an inspirational book sharing with people the power of sharing. This book tells the story of the Salwen family and their plan to make a difference in the world. I was also glad to read that it brought the family closer together. They spent more time together discussing great topics and plans for their “half” project. This is a great book because it opens your eyes to what one idea can turn into. How one person can make a difference and also how you can include your children in great family giving. Giving to those in need, sharing your time to help and so on. This is a great book to read if you are looking to make a difference too!
…. About the authors ….
Kevin Salwen, coauthor of The Power of Half: One Family’s Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back, was reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal for over 18 years. After his tenure at The Wall Street Journal, he started a magazine, Motto. He serves on the board for Habitat for Humanity in Atlanta, and works with the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Hannah Salwen, coauthor of The Power of Half: One Family’s Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back, will be a junior at the Atlanta Girls’ School, where she plays for the varsity volleyball team, and is her grade’s representative to the student council. She has been volunteering consistently since the 5th grade at the Atlanta Community Food Bank and Cafe 458, among others.
Things that I Love...
  • Powerful story about one family and their dream to make a difference
  • Helps you learn more about giving
  • Their hope is that it will better bond your family, community or group through a unified sense of purpose
  • Encourages you to start your own hope project
  • Teaches you that your kids can get involved too. They have a voice just like we do.
  • Inspiring!!!
….. The Power of Half Reviews …..
“Hannah, you rock!”–Ann Curry, The Today Show
“Mixing humor, inspiration and self-reflection, The Power of Half will give you a whole new perspective on your life. You can’t help but recommit to the values you want to share with your children. And you’ll be reminded that your kids have much to teach you, too.”–Jeffrey Zaslow, coauthor of The Last Lecture
“The Power of Half is a story of generosity become realized — a family’s unpretentious, morally introspective life becomes a kind of lived enactment and fulfillment of an old ethical and spiritual imperative: that in giving we receive. In a sense, then, this is an account of kindness toward others become a family’s fateful self-blessing and destiny (and for the rest of us a chain of events to behold, earnestly consider, and take to heart).”–Dr. Robert Coles
“Americans are the world’s most generous people, but, as The Power of Half shows, the Salwen family is lifting hearts in a new way. Not Carnegie, Gates, or the United Way. Sports mom, Little League dad, YouTube-addicted son, and 14-year-old ‘Hey Dude’ daughter are pilgrims on the way of all loving flesh. Who knew Siddartha lived in the suburbs, Mother Teresa wore volleyball kneepads, and the Buddha could emerge from his dream at a traffic light: When the heart is full, give half.”–Michael Capuzzo, author of Close to the Shore and The Murder Room
“The Power of Half proves so much about leadership. Most importantly, that leadership comes in all ages, as long as there is a decision made to let it out and foster it. Hannah and her family inspire me to want to improve the relationships in my life through the power of renewed energy. I’m planning to give this book to everyone I know.”–Alicia Mandel, United States Olympic Committee
“The Power of Half is not just an extraordinary story of a 14-year-old girl who pushes her family to look outside of themselves and give something big back to the world. The Salwen father-daughter duo sets a new standard for families and individuals seeking to inject meaning into their lives. What does your family stand for? What ‘half’ are you willing to give back? Read this book and, like me and my family, you’ll want to tackle these questions and change your life.”–Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind and Drive
“Hannah Salwen and her dad show what can happen when the best of youthful idealism combines with a ‘can-do’ attitude looking to change the world for the better, one family at a time. Hannah inspires every one of her readers to ask, ‘What can I do to help?’ An adventure with a conscience. Brava!”–Susanne B. Beck, Executive Director, National Coalition of Girls’ Schools

The featured product {s} in this post were provided to me free of charge by the manufacturer or pr company representing the company. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by anyone.  Trendy Treehouse Disclaimer/Terms of use.


  1. That sounds like a truly amazing and inspiring story, and one that every person should read! I'm adding it to my reading list right now!

  2. Wow! That sounds like to type of book I enjoy reading. Thanks for the review, I'll be looking for it. It reminds me of the inspirational book I'm reading now called "Major Dream: From Immigrant Housemaid to Harvard Ph.D." by author Jin Kyu Robertson Ph.D. The title pretty much says it all. It's an amazing story of determination and about persuing your dreams. I'm really enjoying it!


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