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
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
- View an audio slideshow of President Carter’s reading of his foreword. This slideshow features excerpts from the former president’s reading of his foreword, along with archival photos involving his life and his decades-long work with Habitat.
- View a slideshow of President Carter and David Rubel promoting the book at The Carter Center in Atlanta.
- From an Atlanta Habitat for Humanity build site, author David Rubel talks about “If I Had a Hammer.”
- President Jimmy Carter and author David Rubel discuss the many benefits of Habitat for Humanity.
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 www.davidrubel.net.
Interact with David Rubel
- Read an interview with him in the September 2009 issue of Habitat World magazine (.pdf).
- Read David’s blog from Chiang Mai. David blogged about his experience while building homes at the 2009 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
- Read David's personal blog.
- Visit David Rubel's Facebook page.