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If I Had a Hammer: Building Homes and Hope with Habitat for Humanity

By David Rubel, with a foreword by Jimmy Carter
Release date: October 13, 2009


If I Had a Hammer: Building Homes and Hope with Habitat for Humanity is available at:

Paperback edition
Audio edition


About the book

President Jimmy Carter’s compelling anecdotes inspire a personal look at Habitat for Humanity that is sure to fire up a younger generation.

Somewhere in West Virginia, a thirteen-year-old girl now invites friends home without embarrassment. In a Brazilian village, children no longer sleep beneath a table when the heavy rains come. For a quarter-century in nearly ninety countries, Habitat for Humanity has built homes with and for the people who need them, aided by more than a million multigenerational volunteers. Two of the most devoted are former president Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn — and now this captivating account, abundantly illustrated with photos, relays their favorite stories with special resonance for young readers. Exploring everything from creative home design (like using window bars in India to keep out monkeys) to the emotional rewards of helping to build a house from the ground up, this is an essential resource for inspiring future youth volunteers.

 An excerpt of the book’s foreword by Jimmy Carter
“The underlying problem is that sometimes it is difficult for people like us―who have homes, good educations, and fruitful careers―to cross the chasm that separates us from people who may have none of these blessings. Often, the needy are scorned by us more affluent people who think to ourselves, Well, if those poor people would only work as hard as I do or study as hard as I do, then they could provide a good home for their families, just as I do. That kind of prejudice can be difficult to overcome.

Fortunately for Rosalynn and me, the international headquarters of Habitat for Humanity was located in Americus, Georgia, just nine miles from Plains. In Habitat’s work, building homes for those in need, we saw the opportunity―as so many others have―to put our faith into practice.”

Slideshows about the book

About Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
served as the thirty-ninth president of the United States from 1977 to 1981 and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize. A prolific author, Jimmy Carter has published more than twenty books. He lives with his wife, Rosalynn, in Plains, Georgia.

About David Rubel
David Rubel is the author of the Scholastic Encyclopedia of the Presidents and Their Times and the Scholastic Atlas of the United States. He lives in Chatham, New York. For more information, please visit

Interact with David Rubel