40 Hour Famine: 5 Inspiring Books to Read

06/10/2016 by World Vision New Zealand


40 Hour Famine: 5 Inspiring Books to Read

"Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light."

- Vera Nazarian

The 40 Hour Famine is about a movement of Kiwis young and old who believe in a more just and equal world. This year, you've sacrificed, donated and advocated for the children of the Syrian Refugee Crisis and now that the 40 Hour Famine season is over, it's important to keep thinking about the world and what we can do to make it an even better place. If you're looking for inspiration about the world and how to change it, give these non-fiction books a read:

1. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

4.14/5 star rating on GoodReads
Description: "This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them."

Why this book? You've probably seen the KONY 2012 video, about how young children were kidnapped from their homes by the Lord's Resistance Army and forced to become child soldiers. This isn't a childhood we imagine for any child, anywhere. Many of the children abducted are now young adults and after their escape or release, they hope to return home. World Vision operates a Children of War Rehabilitation Centre in Gulu, Uganda where we provide life's essentials (food, water, clothing, bedding), emotional and psychological therapy, and skills to work after their rehabilitation. 

2. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

4.32/5 star rating on GoodReads

Description: "A passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world. This book shows how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad. Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential. They make clear how so many people have helped to do just that, and how we can each do our part. Half the Sky is essential reading for every global citizen."

Why this book? One of the UN Sustainable Development Goals is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. In fact, a lot of World Vision's work is about lifting women up and ensuring they have a voice in their communities. Did you know - girls with 8 years of education or schooling are four times less likely to marry as children!

3. Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton

4.5/5 star rating on GoodReads
Description: "In the summer of 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton set out on an ambitious project: to single-handedly create a photographic census of New York City, all in an attempt to capture New Yorkers and their stories. Humans of New York is a celebration of individuality and a tribute to the spirit of the city."

Why this book? You might already follow Humans of New York on Facebook, and this book is a collection of the best of those stories. It inspires us to think how every single person in the world is shaped by their experiences. It also gets us asking: what do you know about the people of our global community? What hardships are they facing? How can our actions lift them up? We think changing the world begins with getting to know the people who live in it!

4. I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

4.04/5 star rating on GoodReads
Description: "On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism… and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons."

Why this book? At sixteen, Malala has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate. She stands for something incredible - for children, especially girls, all over the world to receive an education. “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” 

5. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

4.3/5 star rating on GoodReads

Description: "Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Long Walk to Freedom is his moving and exhilarating autobiography."

Why this book? Read about the man who fought for human rights and racial equality in South Africa and the world. After you read the book, you can watch the film! "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

Have you read any of these non-fiction books? Let us know through the 40 Hour Facebook page how it's inspired you to change the world!

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