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New Student Book Experience (NSBE)

Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Half the Sky

Half the Sky

The committee recommends this book because:
The book is a powerful call to moral action, focusing on the oppression of women and girls worldwide, with emphasis on the developing world. The title, taken from a Chinese saying, contrasts the importance of women with their general lack of power and provides inspiring accounts of programs and initiatives remedying the powerlessness and improving communities as well.

From two of our most fiercely moral voices, a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.


Sheryl WuDunn

Author’s visit

Sheryl WuDunn

November 1, 2017



With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope.

They show how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad. That Cambodian girl eventually escaped from her brothel and, with assistance from an aid group, built a thriving retail business that supports her family. The Ethiopian woman had her injuries repaired and in time became a surgeon. A Zimbabwean mother of five, counseled to return to school, earned her doctorate and became an expert on AIDS.

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. Throughout much of the world, the greatest unexploited economic resource is the female half of the population. Countries such as China have prospered precisely because they emancipated women and brought them into the formal economy. Unleashing that process globally is not only the right thing to do; it’s also the best strategy for fighting poverty.

Deeply felt, pragmatic, and inspirational, Half the Sky is essential reading for every global citizen.

~ from

“They will be an inspiration for anyone who reads this book, and a model for those fighting for justice around the world.”
        —Angelina Jolie


“Half the Sky is a passionate and persuasive plea to all of us to rise up and say ‘No more!’ …”
        —Tom Brokaw

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