My review of The Promise of a Pencil first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers. It is appearing here now with their permission. As many of you know, I've be reading more non-fiction and this was just a wonderfully inspiring story from the founder of Pencils of Promise. It is well worth anyone's read!
First line: On a sunny autumn afternoon just before my twenty-fifth birthday, I walked into a large bank in my hometown.
As a college student, Adam Braun elected to do a semester at sea, an experience that exposed him to some of the world’s most impoverished countries. Everywhere he went, he asked a child, “If you could have anything, what would you want most?” The idea was to collect answers like souvenirs, but one child’s response—“a pencil”—changed Adam’s path in life.
Following his semester at sea and an internship working with the Cambodian Children’s Fund, he set his sites on creating an organization to change people’s lives. His friends and family encouraged him to pursue a job in finance. He could save money and after a couple decades start a non-profit. But after less than a year with a prestigious New York company, Adam realized he couldn’t wait.
Divided into sections he labels as mantras, The Promise of a Pencil is a young entrepreneur’s inspiring memoir detailing the bumpy but exciting road to his dream. From making a $25 deposit to landing on Forbes’s 30 Under 30 list, Adam Braun took a vision and made it a reality.
Adam’s story is motivating; he enlisted new technologies, made many sacrifices and found supportive mentors and colleagues. But it’s equally uplifting; he made mistakes, learned hard lessons and still persevered in order to do something monumental for those less fortunate.
Adam believes, “Every person has a revolution beating within his or her chest. I hope this book helps you find yours.” The Promise of Pencil certainly has the potential to do just that.
The Promise of Pencil is available in hardcover (ISBN: 9781476730622) from Scribner. There is also a Simon & Schuster unabridged audiobook download version, narrated by Kirby Heyborne.