Book Review: The Power of Half by Kevin Salwen and Hannah Salwen

The Power of Half cover imageHave you ever wished you could do more to contribute to a cause or organization you really believed in? Kevin Salwen and his family took that desire and turned it into something tangible by selling their upscale home, downsizing to a smaller house, and donating half their profit to a charity.

Inspired by daughter Hannah’s frustration with the inequity she saw around her suburban Atlanta neighborhood, the Salwen family’s decision is probably more of a sacrifice than most of us are willing to make. Yet, the premise behind their decision, to identify something they could use less of and give away half of the excess, can be put into action by most anyone.

Kevin and Hannah Salwen tell their story, and hope to inspire others to take action, in their book, The Power of Half. While Kevin writes most of the narrative, Hannah contributes sidebars that call the reader to action, such as the one titled, “Helping Small Kids Start Volunteering.” We also get to see how the rest of the family reacts during the process, including Kevin’s wife Joan, and their son, Hannah’s brother Joseph.

Many mother-daughter book clubs have taken on volunteer projects as a group, and reading The Power of Half could help groups identify something they believe in and decide how they want to contribute. When my adult book club read this book we made a list of organizations where we have volunteered time or contributed money. We discussed the criteria that go into helping us decide which organizations we want to support. We also decided to volunteer together as a group by helping an organization dedicated to providing books to needy children.

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