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The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change Hardcover – March 18, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"For anyone with a big dream to transform the world, this book will show you how to get it done." (Sir Richard Branson)

“A compelling and singular story filled with universal truths everyone needs to hear.” (United States Senator Cory Booker)

"A remarkably inspiring story that shares the essential lessons to creating a life of meaning, passion and purpose." (Deepak Chopra, Founder of The Chopra Foundation)

“A vivid, heartfelt account of the power of education and the ability of one person to impact the world.” (Wendy Kopp, Founder of Teach For America and Co-Founder & CEO of Teach For All)

“Braun takes you on a mesmerizing round-the-world adventure, while sharing the concrete steps necessary to turn your own ideas into reality. He has his finger on the pulse of what's next and when he speaks you should be listening.” (Keith Ferrazzi, #1 NY Times bestselling author of Never Eat Alone and Who's Got Your Back)

“A perfect step-by-step guide to building the life you've always wanted on your own terms. . . Start reading and don't put the book down until you're finished.” (Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia and New York Times bestselling author of Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook and Crush It!)

"Braun's lessons are memorable, accessible, and powerful. This is a must-read, and a must-re-read, and a must-keep-in-view-on-bookshelf kind of book." (Jessica Jackley, Co-Founder of Kiva)

"[An] exuberant testimony to the power of idealism. . . Braun’s story forcefully presents the advantages of silencing the head andlistening to the heart." (Publishers Weekly starred review and Book of the Week)

"[Braun] skillfully weaves together his personal memoir and the professional challenges he faced... Informative and inspiring." (Kirkus Reviews)

“Braun combines his laid-back storytelling style with simple yet sage advice….The Promise of a Pencil is engaging, instructive and inspiring reading for anyone who wants to change his or her life, change the world, or simply feel better about humanity.” (Success Magazine)

"Braun shares his story of how he started Pencils of Promise, what he learned from Wall Street that has helped him...how he’s leveraged social networks to generate donations, and his best career advice." (Forbes.com)

"[A] page-turning debut." (MTV Act)

About the Author

Adam Braun is the Founder and CEO of Pencils of Promise, an award-winning nonprofit organization that has built more than 200 schools across Africa, Asia, and Latin America and delivered over 15 million educational hours to children in poverty. PoP was founded with just $25 and has grown under Braun's stewardship with his unique approach that blends nonprofit idealism with for-profit business principles. He has been featured as part of the Forbes 30 Under 30 and Wired Magazine's 50 People Changing the world. To learn more visit pencilsofpromise.org and adambraun.com.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (March 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476730628
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476730622
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (768 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Adam Braun is the Founder of Pencils of Promise, an award-winning organization that began with just $25 and has since broken ground on 250 schools across the world. He also is the creator of the "For-Purpose" approach to business and philanthropy, which combines for-profit business acumen with the best of social sector idealism. Braun graduated from Brown University, began his career at Bain & Company, and has been a featured speaker at the White House, United Nations and Clinton Global Initiative.

"The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change" is his New York Times bestselling debut book, which shares his personal journey from high finance through more than 50 countries and explains the essential steps that every person must take to discover their own life of passion and purpose.

Richard Branson described, "For anyone looking to transform the world, this book will show you how to get it done."

You can find more information at www.adambraun.com.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Dave Kerpen on March 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book is both a terrific story and a guide to making a difference in the world. Inspiring, thought-provoking, and deeply meaningful - Promise of a Pencil profoundly resonated with me and it will resonate with you.

Any one of the chapters - organized as stories telling 30 "mantras" - would be worth the price of the entire book- but together, well- this is a masterpiece, and a future textbook in how we can all make a difference in our short times on this planet. Two enormous likeable thumbs up!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By agray63 on March 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book is not only an incredibly quick read that keeps you glued to the pages until there are no more left to read, but it also keeps you wishing the story would never end!

The book is perfect for all ages in the sense that if you are a young person, it will inspire you to dream big dreams and pursue them with a relentless and undivided attention. If you are older, this book restores your hope in the current generation that is doing so much good in the world.

After reading this book, not only do I feel like I CAN do anything, I also feel like I WANT to go do EVERYTHING! Great Read!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Blue Wave on April 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story portrays the author's self definition search as he clarifies who he is and finds who he wants to be. It portrays his early childhood, teenage and young adult periods of development and how those periods reflect the influences he felt from family, friends, school and the travels he took which were mostly on his own to far away places in the undeveloped areas of Asia, South America and Africa.

Adam Braun, the author, experienced an above average upbringing due to his upper middle class parents and their drive to push him to a high income profession. Because he was good in mathematics he landed a job after college graduation with a Wall Street consulting and acquisition firm that pressed him and the others of his group to work long hours cracking out statistically based analyses to assist business organization clients improve the bottom line and absorb other organizations which resulted in achieving benefits to the clients and his team of consultants that accrue to US society's top 1%.

This exercise caused the author to find that he was less than satisfied and he tried to reach a sense of personal worth and meaning by using his off time to develop a vision he had for improving educational opportunity in parts of the underdeveloped world by funding and building schools. This was usually done in coordination with other Non-governmental Organizations (NGO'S) on site in the theater of opportunity and in coordination with the home country's Department of Education.
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88 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Heather on April 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Braun's life story is certainly lovely, and it's hopeful for Wall Street dwellers who feel constrained and want to seek more meaning in life. However...the story can only appeal to an audience much more narrow than the book boasts. Braun grew up comfortably with loving parents who, despite their insistence that he had to work hard and finance himself, would surely capture him with a safety net if anything drastic happened after he quit his job to chase his dreams. Braun seems to have neglected to mention that much of his story involves luck -- his nonprofit would surely not be as expansive or popular it is today without Bieber's support and his idolizing fans panting behind his heels. I'm glad Braun is doing such good for the world. I believe firmly in Pencils of Promise and I think the organizations maintains beautiful ideals rooted in sustainable development and local growth from within. But I would not tell any average Joe Shmoe to quit a job to hunt down dreams. We have families to support, or ill parents to take care of, or friends in need, and not everyone can abandon the common route to travel and explore for oneself.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just finished reading this book after starting it from page one this morning. I could not put this book down. I was expecting a book about how a charity got started and perhaps some biography thrown in- but what i got out of it was so much more. What i did not expect was this epic adventure that has lifted my spirits and further influenced my faith in humanity and what one person can do with 25 dollars and start a revolution. With Adam's words in describing his adventures, stories about his family and the start and current state of his organization "Pencils for Promise" i felt like i was experiencing these things right along with the words on the page. This is an epic book on how to follow your dreams, get things done, experience life and not accept things that you are not happy with. This book should be required reading for all schools & businesses alike. There is something for everyone in this book and i cannot help but feeling inspired reading his refreshing words . i Highly recommend everyone pick this up. Thanks for a great read.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David Burstein on March 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
It's rare that a book is able to both provide such detailed how-to like perspective on how you start something, change something, or build something but also offers insight into the often ignored emotional, physical, and psychological ups and downs of this process. Adam's willingness to delve deep into his own experiences and really reflect is a benefit for the scores of people in this generation--and all generations who want to make the world a better place, but need to work hard to do it
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