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Download It Takes a School: The Extraordinary Story of an American School in the World’s #1 Failed State Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample It Takes a School: The Extraordinary Story of an American School in the World’s #1 Failed State Audiobook, by Jonathan Starr Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan Starr Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2017 ISBN: 9781504798921
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A story of David and Goliath proportions, how an American hedge fund manager created a unique school in Somaliland whose students, against all odds, have come to achieve success beyond anyone’s wildest dreams

Jonathan Starr is not your traditional do-gooder, and in 2009, when he decided to found Abaarso, a secondary school in Somaliland, the choice seemed crazy to even his closest friends. Why, they wondered, would he turn down a life of relative luxury to relocate to an armed compound in a breakaway region of the world’s #1 failed state? To achieve his mission, Starr would have to overcome profound cultural differences, broken promises, and threats to his safety and that of his staff.

It Takes a School is the story of how an abstract vision became a transformative reality, as Starr set out to build a school in a place forgotten by the world. It is the story of a skeptical and clan-based society learning to give way to trust. And it is the story of the students themselves, including a boy from a family of nomads who took off on his own in search of an education and a girl who waged a hunger strike in order to convince her strict parents to send her to Abaarso.

Abaarso has placed forty graduates and counting in American universities, from Harvard to MIT, and sends Somaliland a clear message: its children can compete with anyone in the world. Now the initial question Starr was asked demands another: “If such a success can happen in an unrecognized breakaway region of Somalia, can it not happen anywhere?”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “One man’s amazing accomplishment in founding a school amid a series of daunting challenges…Starr is proud of his accomplishments, and he deserves to be.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Abaarso has earned amazing success, placed forty graduates and counting in American universities, and stands as a shining beacon of what human beings are capable of…Inspirational and uplifting, It Takes a School is highly recommended.”

    Midwest Book Review

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About the Author

Jonathan Starr founded and led the private investment firm Flagg Street Capital, worked as an analyst at SAB Capital and Blavin & Company and as a research associate within the Taxable Bond Division at Fidelity Investments, and sat on the board of a publicly traded company. With a half-million-dollar donation from his personal finances, Starr created the Abaarso School in 2009. His work in Somaliland has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, CNN, and the Christian Science Monitor.

About the Narrator

Malcolm Hillgartner is an actor, author, playwright, and professional narrator. Under the name Jahnna N. Malcolm, he and his wife, Jahnna Beecham, have written over one hundred books for young readers; their musicals have played in theaters across America. His audiobook credits include works by Dean Koontz, Nelson Algren, and William F. Buckley Jr.