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Educate a child

Mona's Winter Reading List

There aren’t many subjects I enjoy studying more than education and youth empowerment. As a new intern, working through projects and deadlines can get overwhelming sometimes. When I need a break sitting down with a good book on my favorite subjects always makes me feel better. 

Below are seven books on youth education and global empowerment recommended by the Mona staff. Cozy up to the fireplace (or press play on the digital fireplace below!) with one this winter and let us know what you think. Who doesn’t love a good book that looks to a better world?

PS- Don’t forget to use Amazon smile if you order one of these books. Mona gets .5% of your purchase (at no extra cost to you!) when you designate us as your charity. Learn how here!

Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen

This classic from a Nobel economist is appealing to anyone interested in international development and world economics. This book was one of the first to bring an ethical outlook into global economics, uncommon in such a technical discipline. Flipping between political, theoretical and scholarly ideas, Sen brings readers on a journey, questioning why money is the measure of everything. He believes true freedom requires security, support and opportunity for the less fortunate in society. Philosophy and theory unite in this novel, requiring nothing more from the reader than an open mind and interest in the relationship between justice, freedom and responsibility. Buy for $13 on Amazon


Growing up Global by Homa Sabet Tavangar

Growing up Global is a toolbox full of activities for the caregiver wanting to give her child a global mindset. Author and mother of three, Homa Tavangar has lived on four continents and speaks six languages. Pulling from her experience abroad, Tavangar provides a platform for developing a child’s multicultural competence in an increasingly borderless world. This book combines simple explanations and creative exercises with an exhaustive resource list so parents aren’t left wondering how to implement the tools they read about. Topics range from intercultural friendships and foreign languages to avenues of service and giving, making this a must read for any parent, teacher or grandparent that wants to help children navigate the world. Buy for $11 on Amazon


Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn

Written by two Pulitzer Prize winning authors, Half the Sky is perfect for the reader who wants to see theory in practice. Readers are taken on a journey around the world as authors Kristof and WuDunn share stories of women overcoming oppression. Each tale provides a snapshot into a different woman’s life and the difference help had on her otherwise bleak situation. The authors strive to expose the untapped economic potential of empowering women, but also to demonstrate how a little bit of help can make a huge difference in a woman’s life. Buy for $9 on Amazon


I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

The audience for I am Malala is the broadest on this reading list. Its deep theme is communicated through every day language, so it’s appropriate for a child in middle school but still complex enough for an adult. Malala grew up in Pakistan’s Swat Valley as the Taliban took over. This book is her memoir as she continued to attend school in secret after educating girls became outlawed. Through school bombings, death threats and seemingly inescapable situations Malala shows the importance of education and persistence in pursuing  what is right. Buy for $9 on Amazon


Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

After giving an electrifying TED talk viewed over 6 million times, Sandberg wrote Lean In to continue the conversation she began on the TED stage in 2010. Focusing on women and ambition, this book illustrates the persistent lack of equality women face at work. Too often women discount their opportunity before attempting to achieve their goals. Instead of hesitating, Sandberg suggests women should believe in themselves and lean in. Drawing on her own experience in business, through compassionate, honest writing, Sandberg provides realistic ways women can reach their goals She’s not afraid to share her own insecurities and question whether the deficit of women in the workplace is due to lack of ambition, or lack of support. Buy for $13 on Amazon


Reaching for the Sky: Empowering Girls through Education by Dr. Urvashi Sahni

Founder of Digital Study Hall and social entrepreneur, Dr. Urvashi Sahni, demonstrates the transformative power of education when it responds to the specific needs of girls in Reaching for the Sky. Using Prerna Girls School in Lucknow, India as a focal point, Dr. Urvashi Sahni proves gender equality can be achieved in a patriarchal society through education. Stories from children at Prerna School illustrate how girls learn about equality and develop the skills to navigate the often-dangerous milieus in which they live where they are not valued, sometimes even by their own families. Anyone looking for an accessible, academic read detailing the necessity of girls’ education in developing countries should put this book at the top of their list. Buy for $13 on Amazon


The Tyranny of Experts by William Easterly

Written by an economist, this book delineates an alternative approach to solving poverty. Using an array of global examples throughout history Easterly clearly explains the faults of our economic system. He argues that the technical elite develop policies and regulations to fix economic issues without the necessary time and knowledge required to develop plans that can actually be implemented and make a difference. Easterly pushes readers to question why an elite few control the majority’s economic future, ultimately arguing that central planning does not create a world with universal economic prosperity. This is a great book for someone who wants to understand the foundation of economic issues from the eyes of an expert. Buy for $15 on Amazon

Don’t forget we are running a giveaway on Facebook

You can win* a signed copy of Growing up Global by Homa Sabet Tavangar!

  1. Like our Facebook post with this week’s blog
  2. Tell your friends to read the blog
  3. Share the blog so your friends can like and enter too!

I’m always looking for new books. If you have one you think should be on this list, shoot me an email, I’d love to read it! Check back next week to learn about Mona's year in review. 


Until then,

 Synnove Vandal
 Strategic Communications Intern


*Winner will be contacted on 12/27/17

*One winner will receive copy of Growing up Global

*Entry to contest does not require entrant to share post