Creating Room to Read by John Wood
A Story of Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy

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The inspirational story of a former Microsoft executive’s quest to build libraries around the world and share the love of books

What’s happened since John Wood left Microsoft to change the world? Just ask six million kids in the poorest regions of Asia and Africa. In 1999, at the age of thirty-five, Wood quit a lucrative career to found the nonprofit Room to Read. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “the Andrew Carnegie of the developing world,” he strived to bring the lessons of the corporate world to the nonprofit sector—and succeeded spectacularly.

In his acclaimed first book, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World, Wood explained his vision and the story of his start-up. Now, he tackles the organization’s next steps and its latest challenges—from managing expansion to raising money in a collapsing economy to publishing books for children who literally have no books in their native language. At its heart, Creating Room to Read shares moving stories of the people Room to Read works to help: impoverished children whose schools and villages have been swept away by war or natural disaster and girls whose educations would otherwise be ignored.

People at the highest levels of finance, government, and philanthropy will embrace the opportunity to learn Wood’s inspiring business model and blueprint for doing good. And general readers will love Creating Room to Read for its spellbinding story of one man’s mission to put books within every child’s reach.


About John Wood

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JOHN WOOD worked for Microsoft for nine years, helping grow the company's international profile. He resigned at thirty-five and founded Room to Read, which is widely regarded as one of the world's top nonprofit organizations. He documented his decision and the creation of Room to Read in his memoir, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World. He lives in New York City.
Published February 7, 2013 by Plume. 304 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Education & Reference, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Room to Read, the organization that he founded, has published more than 700 children's books in local languages, expanded globally into 10 countries in Asia and Africa, partnered with local communities to build new schools and provided 17,000 scholarships for women.

Oct 08 2012 | Read Full Review of Creating Room to Read: A Stor...

Publishers Weekly

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The story runs through the birth of Room to Read, his break when on Oprah while flogging his first book, the growth of the ambitious goal to bring literacy to every child in the world, expansion to Africa, growing pains, and the swift growth of the company’s reach.

Jan 14 2013 | Read Full Review of Creating Room to Read: A Stor...

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Blue swamp: Patients get stuck when health care networks feud Fighting words: Cooler heads must prevail in the Korean peninsula The right to self-defense is a natural right Sacrificing women for politics: These U.S. House members from Pa.

Feb 17 2013 | Read Full Review of Creating Room to Read: A Stor...

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