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KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play Hardcover – April 26, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“It takes equal parts audacity, creativity, and vision to build an organization as successful as KaBOOM!--and Darell Hammond has that special blend. I'm proud to have partnered with the organization as First Lady of California to bring 31 new playgrounds to the state's neediest communities, including the first volunteer-built intergenerational playground in California. It's a partnership that continues to change lives and transform these communities.” ―Maria Shriver, award-winning journalist, bestselling author and activist

“Darell Hammond's visionary work is helping bring national attention to the critical ‘play deficit' so many children face and transforming not just children but entire communities. Read this compelling, engaging book and be inspired.” ―Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund

“The story of Darell and KaBOOM! demonstrates that true leadership and innovation comes from not only celebrating successes, but also embracing and learning from failures. Through his tireless dedication and willingness to continually re-think traditional approaches to creating social change, Darell’s reflections provide powerful insights into what it takes to become a trailblazer not just in the nonprofit sector, but in any sector.” ―Jean Case, CEO, the Case Foundation

“The story of Darell and KaBOOM! demonstrates that true leadership and innovation comes from not only celebrating successes, but also embracing and learning from failures. Through his tireless dedication and willingness to continually re-think traditional approaches to creating social change, Darell’s reflections provide powerful insights into what it takes to become a trailblazer
not just in the nonprofit sector, but in any sector.” ―Jean Case, CEO, the Case Foundation

“Darell Hammond has led an extraordinary life and made extraordinary contributions to the lives of countless others. Part memoir, part manifesto, KaBOOM! is a passionate story of play's transformative power to deepen the quality of children's lives and strengthen the bonds of families and communities. A searching and practical journey through triumphs and disappointments, KaBOOM! will inspire and enlighten you with the boundless possibilities of imagination, creativity, and play.” ―Sir Ken Robinson, New York Times bestselling author, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

“Darell Hammond has led an extraordinary life and made extraordinary contributions to the lives of countless others. Part memoir, part manifesto, KaBOOM! is a passionate story of play’s transformative power to deepen the quality of children’s lives and strengthen the bonds of families and communities. A searching and practical journey through triumphs and disappointments, KaBOOM! will inspire and enlighten you with the boundless possibilities of imagination, creativity, and play” ―Sir Ken Robinson, New York Times bestselling author, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

“Business entrepreneurs build economic prosperity in a society. Social entrepreneurs build communities and knit social fabric. Darell Hammond is an unusual combination of both. His story is both instructional and heartwarming.” ―Ram Charan, bestselling author, What the CEO Wants You to Know

About the Author

DARELL HAMMOND is the founder and CEO of KaBOOM!, an innovative nonprofit based in
Washington, DC, that is saving play by ensuring there is a great place to play within walking
distance of every child in America. Founded out of Hammond's apartment in 1996, KaBOOM!
has raised $200 million, rallied a million volunteers, led the hands-on construction of
2,000 playgrounds, and inspired a movement for the child's right to play. Darell and his wife, Kate,
reside in Washington, DC.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; First Edition edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605290750
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605290751
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,052,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a powerful book. It's two stories -- one of Hammond's childhood and one of KaBOOM!, the non-profit that builds playgrounds and advocates for children's right to play. A true Horatio Alger story with a philanthropic ending, this book takes the reader through Hammond's childhood to reveal what he achieved through sheer determination and commitment. His organization goes into low income neighborhoods and organizes the local people to build a playground with cooperation from the business community. An important aspect of the book is the model it presents for lasting change in a neighborhood. The community is vested in the outcome and its maintenance.

Despite having three children and five grandchildren, I don't think I understood the importance of unstructured play until I read this book. Now, when I watch my grandchildren play, I see the important things that are taking place as they imagine, pretend, negotiate and roughhouse. To anyone who has kids or works with kids this book has a lot to say.
You'll not only see how you can make a difference in the life of a child, but will understand why you should. We could all advocate for safe play spaces in this time of budget cutting. IMPORTANT -- all proceeds of this book do go to the non-profit KaBOOM!.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow, I am invigorated and inspired after reading Darell Hammond's book KaBOOM!. What an amazing story of determination and passion, I feel so inspired and want to help solve the play deficit in any way I can! As a young professional it is so empowering to read this book, Hammond had a vision and through hard work and dedication he was able to make his vision a reality at a very young age. I can't wait to share this book with friends and family, it is a story of not only a man, but a cause, and a very important one at that!
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Format: Hardcover
Darell Hammond's book, KaBOOM!, is, as the subtitle says, the story of "how one man built a movement to save play." But even more, it is an inspiring story about the incredible sense of community and amazing power everyday people can generate when they plan, organize and work together to build fun, beautiful and safe playgrounds in their neighborhoods. And to top it off, KaBOOM! has a practical component: It serves a guidebook of sorts on what to do - and not do -- to take part in the movement to realize Darrell Hammond's vision of ensuring that there is a playground within walking distance of every child in America.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As I read the book, I could not help think about my own childhood and how much play has impacted me. Darell's journey through life and the impact that play has had on him was truly inspiring. As a father with two young kids, I can't imagine not giving them an opportunity to play. This book underscores how important it is for every kid to have a great place to play. As a society, we need value the intrinsic drive to play. The book is an incredible testament to that value and a must read for anyone who is concerned about how kids are being brought up without a place to play.
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Format: Hardcover
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advanced copy, and read it cover to cover in a few days. The story of how Darell's upbrining and how it lead him to start KaBoom is inspirational. It makes you want to go out an build a playground (seriously, it really does make you want to take action). I highly reccomend for those looking for a great upbeat read.
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Format: Hardcover
This book does a great job of combining Darell's personal journey and the process of founding KaBOOM!. It's an underdog story about a man on a mission. I found the personal anecdotes especially inspiring. I really enjoyed reading the chapter on the work of KaBOOM! in the Gulf Region after Hurricane Katrina. It wasn't just about building a playground, but truly building a community. The tips that Darell shares in the latter half of the book are just as applicable to the non-profit sector as they are to the business world. I definitely recommend this to parents, non-profit professionals, and people who want to take action for play!
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Format: Hardcover
Not only is the history of KaBOOM! a fascinating story and Darell Hammond a very compelling leader and success story, but I really enjoyed reading about some of the communities and individuals who are featured also. It's a very readable book, interesting and emotional, and a great cause. It's obvious KaBOOM! is a very unique organization and its CEO and founder a very unique individual. Over and over again, creative and ambitious ideas are raised, and both KaBOOM! and Darell rise to the occasion... although challenges and regrets are admitted too. Aside from the memoir and leadership aspects of the book that will interest people, I hope lots of readers will realize how important play is to kids and a healthy society and get involved in the movement to save play!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When you read Darell Hammond's amazing story, it's possible you'll drift off, daydreaming about your own playground memories, only to be brought back to reality when you realize that play like you knew it is in danger of extinction. When I tell my kids about the way I used to play (with all the neighborhood kids, running all over the community, creating our own rules and games) it's like explaining the rotary telephone and black and white TV - they don't quite believe me!
Kids and families today have many choices about how to spend their time. Darell's book and his work at KaBOOM! show that play is an innate need and critical to the healthy development of children - and that it should be the number one choice for families and communities who are serious about their most precious resource - their kids.
Just buying and reading this book will help some children who need it. But be warned - you might be so inspired, you'll end up doing much more!
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