Sunday, August 22, 2010

Review: The Power of Half by Kevin and Hannah Salwen

Now I must decide:  Shall I review this book by looking at it as Half Full or Half Empty? ;->

That's easy for me. I'm a Half Full kind of gal.

Half Full it is then.

You probably already know the story. Fourteen-year-old Hannah Salwen saw a homeless man and a shiny Mercedes and had an idea which she shared with her family. If her family would sell their enormous house, they could give half the money from the house to the poor and would make the world a better place. The family decided to do what Hannah had suggested and the money was given to villagers in Ghana. The book elaborates on this story, related by Hannah's dad, including interjections by Hannah herself. A lovely tale of sacrifice and thoughtfulness and caring.

My Half Empty self is screaming. Sorry. Just a minute.

Okay, I'm being forced by my Half Empty self to mention that the book falls into my personal genre, Books-That-Make-Better-Magazine-Articles-Than-They-Do-Books. Do you get the picture? It runs on, we'll say. Also, I'm being asked to share the fact that the Salwen house was a two million dollar house. We're not talking about a 3-2-2 in the suburbs. Is it really sacrifice to move down to a 3,000 square foot house?

This book was obtained from the public library.

This week I also finished:


  1. Sorry to see the book's not that good. I heard Kevin Salwen speak and thought he was very moving.

  2. I loved hearing Greg Mortenson speak and loved his project, building schools for girls in Afghanistan, but his book was just a so-so read. JMVHO.

  3. I agree that giving money when you're rich isn't such a sacrifice. And what about the poor people in this country? It's not that I begrudge the gifts to people in other countries, but we have lots of homeless people struggling here.

    It's probably not a book I'd enjoy. Great review, though.

    Thanks for visiting my salon.

  4. Thanks for stopping by. I'm also a Follower now. But had problems clicking to you, didn't see my photo pop up. If you don't see me up there, leave me a comment and I'll try again, ok? Happy you have LA connections; I have Texas connections, a sister and a brother life there now, two nieces settled in the Austin area. I thought as you thought about the house deal; also thought the first part of Mortenson's book lagged (from reading comment above), then picked up steam. I'll have a LA story in a few days...getting into the post holiday groove!

  5. Awwwww...they had to move to a one million dollar house? How horrifying? Still I do like it that they donated money. Sometimes books like this get so focused on how impressive the story is, they forget that it still needs to be well written. That's been my problem recently.

  6. I agree, Trisha. A good story is not enough. We readers also demand good writing.


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